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A Sudden Change of Heart

A Sudden Change of Heart

David had Chris Friend on the show today to talk about his recent article on Gov. Corbett’s ‘change of heart’.

From The Daily Times.

July of 2012 was notable for several reasons: the hottest month on record, both parties gearing up for the presidential campaign, and the voluntarily acceptance of harsh NCAA sanctions by the Penn State Board of Trustees, which includes Governor Tom Corbett.

A half -year later, all have evolved predictably: it’s cold, the President won, and Corbett has flip-flopped in an ill-fated attempt to bolster his image in the PSU/Jerry Sandusky scandal. The Tom and Jerry Show – a tragic comedy – just keeps getting better.

In a nakedly obvious political calculation, Corbett has reversed himself on the penalties, and is now suing the NCAA for “overreaching and unlawful sanctions.”

Wow. What a change of heart, since it was only last July when he stated, “part of the corrective process is to accept the serious penalties imposed by the NCAA on Penn State University and its football program.”

The $64,000 question is “Why?” Why the 180-degree change, and why now, instead of when the sanctions were announced? For those answers, let’s play Corbett’s version of Let’s Make A Deal:

Corbett answer behind Door Number One: “I wanted to thoroughly research the issue to make sure we were on solid legal footing.” Uh, sorry, but no prize. For months leading up to the announcement, even the most remote Eskimos knew severe sanctions were a certainty. The NCAA bylaws aren’t all that complicated, so Corbett (himself a former U.S. Attorney and twice the state’s Attorney General), his General Counsel, his attorney Chief of Staff, and an army of other Administration lawyers could have easily determined – way ahead of time – if A) the NCAA could legally impose sanctions; B) if so, what sanctions should be off the table; and C) if the Administration had legal footing to sue the NCAA should it impose them anyway. And as a Trustee, Corbett clearly would have been party to discussions with the NCAA about the forthcoming sanctions.

Corbett’s Door Number Two: He waited so that the football team could avoid another distraction. Wrong again! Football season doesn’t start in July, and the football team was already dealing with Sandusky fallout. Ironically, a Corbett lawsuit in July would have had the opposite effect— becoming a rallying cry for the team that someone was standing up for them.

Door Three: “I didn’t want to make the same mistake the NCAA made by carelessly rushing in.” Well, that one fits, since Corbett, as the Attorney General investigating Sandusky, made absolutely no rush to get a serial predator off the street, taking a staggering three years to make an arrest, conveniently after his gubernatorial election. True “carelessness” was Corbett assigning two narcotics agents to investigate Sandusky, while scores of agents (including child predator units) pursued a headline-generating political corruption case in which no children were at risk.

Door Four: “After months of research and deliberation, as well as discussions with alumni, students, faculty, business owners and elected officials, (Corbett) concluded that the NCAA’s sanctions were overreaching and unlawful.” So is the suit because the NCAA is violating its bylaws, or because souvenir shops aren’t selling as many Nittany Lion magnets? And, despite the vast legal knowledge of those constituencies, since when do they factor into whether a lawsuit should be filed?

Read the rest of his article here.

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