Penn state sex scandal sanctions must be thrown out, Gov. Tom Corbett says


Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, pictured when he was Pennsylvania state attorney general speaking at a news conference on November 10, 2011, following a night of rioting in response to the firing of head football coach Joe Paterno in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.


Mario Tama

The Penn state sex scandal would not claim another victim in the form of Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett said as he filed a lawsuit on Wednesday demanding that sanctions imposed on the university over the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal be thrown out.

Corbett said the sanctions imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA — including a $60 million fine — threatened to devastate the state's economy.

More from GlobalPost: Penn State fined $60M by NCAA (VIDEO)

UPI reported the Republican governor — himself accused of dragging his feet on the Penn State sex scandal when he was state attorney general, Reuters pointed out — as saying:

"Penn State football has played a major role, not only as a focus of campus life, but as a generator of revenue for a proud university, a leading tourist attraction and a creator of jobs in the state. In the wake of this terrible scandal, Penn State was left to heal and clean up this tragedy that was created by the few. The students, the alumni, the board, the administration and faculty all came together at that moment and began to rebuild."

According to CNN, Corbett said the sanctions "did not punish Sandusky," or those who allegedly helped cover up his repeated sexual abuse of children.

Rather they were "overreaching and unlawful," and: 

"I cannot and will not stand by and let it happen without a fight."

The lawsuit filed with US District Court in Harrisburg by Corbett called for all sanctions related to Sandusky — the former Penn State defensive coordinator convicted in June of 45 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years — to be thrown out.

Top university officials were implicated in a cover-up over the Sandusky affair, including its longtime head football coach Joe Paterno, who died last January.

More from GlobalPost: Joe Paterno dead at 85

The NCAA fine must be paid over five years, and according to CNN was earmarked for a fund to fight child sex abuse.

In its lawsuit, Pennsylvania's state objects to the NCAA's plans to spend only 25 percent of the funds from the fine within the state.