The National Collegiate Athletic Association filed a motion Thursday to dismiss Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s antitrust lawsuit to overturn the sanctions the organization levied against Penn State as a result of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case, according to court documents.
In its motion to dismiss the lawsuit, the NCAA argued that Corbett has no legal standing to file such a motion and that the citizens he claims to represent in the suit have not themselves suffered antitrust injury, according to court documents.
The NCAA also wrote that in order to prove antitrust injury, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must prove that the sanctions affected the prices, quantity or quality of goods or services, according to court documents.
“The complaint also fails to state a claim because it does not allege any threat of substantial anticompetitive effects in the alleged relevant markets,” the NCAA argued in the suit.
The NCAA imposed “unprecedented” sanctions on the university on July 23, including a four-year postseason ban, 40 scholarship reductions and a $60 million fine, as previously reported.
The lawsuit filed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania argued that the Penn State football program is an “important economic engine supporting Pennsylvanians across the Commonwealth,” and the imposed sanctions are causing irreparable harm — including economic harm — to the state of Pennsylvania and its citizens, as previously reported.
Corbett had argued that the relevant markets that would be irreparably harmed by the NCAA sanctions included post-secondary education, Division I football players and the sale of college football-related apparel and memorabilia, according to court documents.
The NCAA wrote that the antitrust laws “were enacted for the protection of competition, not competitors,” so Corbett has to show that the sanctions have “a wider impact on the competitive market,” and not just a negative effect on an individual competitor, according to court documents.
“Allowing this lawsuit to go forward based on Plaintiff’s novel and unfounded theories of collateral harm would not only undermine PSU’s desire to move forward, it would radically expand the scope of plaintiffs with standing to bring antitrust claims in future cases,” the NCAA said in the motion.