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NCAA asks federal court to strike Pennsylvania law

The NCAA today filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to halt an attempt by state politicians to invalidate portions of the Consent Decree between Penn State and the NCAA. Specifically, the state lawmakers approved legislation that restricts funds intended to benefit victims of child sexual abuse nationwide. Our lawsuit asks the federal court to strike down the newly enacted Pennsylvania law that would require the $60 million fine, agreed to by Penn State, to be paid to the state instead.  

“State governments can’t simply pass laws to rewrite private agreements and divert private money to their own coffers,” said Donald Remy, NCAA chief legal officer. “This is an important principle of federal constitutional law that affects not just the NCAA, but also any party seeking to do business with a state-related or private entity. The state has attempted to grant itself the ability to do whatever it wants to whomever it wants. The United States Constitution does not permit this kind of legislative overreach.” 

“It’s important that all of our members abide by the same rules to which they have voluntarily agreed,” said Mark Emmert, NCAA president. “If individual members or state lawmakers take it upon themselves to decide what sanctions are appropriate, simply to protect their home team, then collegiate sports would be dramatically altered.”