Epstein on PA vs. NCAA

Reining in the NCAA
Richard A. Epstein
Ricochet.com
January 4, 2013

One of my least favorite organizations has always been the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which is, by any account, blessed with inordinate power over intercollegiate athletics. It is how being given a taste of its own medicine in a lawsuit that Governor Tom Corbett has filed on behalf of the state of Pennsylvania, alleging that the NCAA overstepped its powers in imposing sanctions on Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal . Everyone should take notice of this case, as I note the New York Times has this morning. 

True to form, the Times has written an editorial that denounces the lawsuit in the strongest possible terms. It certainly has a point that it is odd that the suit is brought by the governor on behalf of the state, with university officials remaining mute on the sidelines. Indeed, this entire matter could well be dismissed on the grounds that the state has no standing to sue if Penn State will not. 

Yet, by the same token, it would be a serious mistake to assume that the NCAA, and its President, Dr. Mark A. Emmert, should receive a free pass if the lawsuit goes away for this reason. All investigations have two sides, and what the Times ignores is the charges of bad behavior against the NCAA that are wrapped up in this odd lawsuit.

Faculty: 
Richard A. Epstein