Hearing set on request to dismiss Pa. NCAA lawsuit

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HARRISBURG – Lawyers for the NCAA and Gov. Tom Corbett have been summoned to a federal courtroom in Harrisburg to argue about a motion seeking to dismiss Corbett’s antitrust lawsuit against college sports’ governing body.


U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane on Tuesday scheduled oral argument for May 1, nearly four months after the Republican governor filed a lawsuit over the NCAA’s penalties against Penn State.


The NCAA has argued that its consent decree with Penn State, generated by the school’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal, does not violate federal antitrust law and actually improves competition in college sports. Penn State is not a party to the lawsuit.


Corbett’s lawsuit accuses the NCAA of exploiting the Sandusky case to increase the power of the organization’s president and help some universities gain a competitive advantage.


In asking for oral argument, the NCAA said Kane could decide the case based on its motion to dismiss.


Corbett’s general counsel, James D. Schultz, released a statement expressing confidence in the lawsuit’s merits. The NCAA offered no immediate comment.


Kane is also handling a lawsuit by the NCAA against Corbett and other state officials. That lawsuit challenges a new state law that requires the $60 million in penalties paid by Penn State remain within the state. The NCAA Monday filed a motion that argues that lawsuit should not be dismissed.


In the pending criminal case against three former Penn State administrators accused of covering up complaints about Sandusky, retired university administrator Gary Schultz filed a motion Wednesday asking to have records in his case unsealed.


Schultz made the request of grand jury supervisory Judge Barry Feudale, who last week ruled the criminal case can go forward against Schultz, former president Graham Spanier and former athletic director Tim Curley.


Schultz argued he needs copies of a previous motion to throw out the grand jury report, transcripts and court orders, for use either at trial or to prepare appeals. His filing noted that Feudale’s own opinion and order were not sealed.


“The court should not issue an unsealed order and opinion denying the defendants’ motions, without revealing the record that formed the basis of the court’s opinion,” wrote Schultz attorney Tom Farrell.


The next step in his criminal case isn’t clear. Schultz, former president Graham Spanier and former athletic director Tim Curley are awaiting a preliminary hearing.


Also Wednesday, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported that one of Sandusky’s victims is the defendant in a protection from abuse order in Clinton County.


The paper said the order was obtained by a woman who claims Aaron Fisher, whose abuse triggered the investigation that led to charges against Sandusky, had consensual sex in February with the woman’s 15-year-old daughter. Fisher, who had been known as Victim 1 and testified against Sandusky, made his identity public last year as he published a book on his experience.


Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence after being convicted last year of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. He maintains his innocence and is pursuing appeals.


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