NCF Nation: Donald Remy

A federal judge on Thursday tossed out the antitrust lawsuit Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett brought against the NCAA that sought to overturn severe penalties imposed on Penn State and its football program.

U.S. Middle District Judge Yvette Kane wrote it was a fairly easy decision to dismiss the lawsuit, as the NCAA sanctions against Penn State didn't meet the standards for an antitrust case.
"The fact that Penn State will offer fewer scholarships over a period of four years does not plausibly support its allegation that the reduction of scholarships at Penn State will result in a market-wide anticompetitive effect, such that the 'nation's top scholastic football players' would be unable to obtain a scholarship in the nationwide market for Division I football players," Kane wrote.

She said the questions the case raises are important matters of public debate but are not anti-trust grounds.

"In another forum the complaint's appeal to equity and common sense may win the day, but in the antitrust world these arguments fail to advance the ball," Kane said.

NCAA general counsel Donald Remy said he was "exceedingly pleased" with the ruling in a statement released Thursday.

The university wasn't a party in the case and has opted to stay out of all lawsuits against the NCAA, including the one fielded last week by the family of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

It will be interesting to see if the quick dismissal impacts the Paterno family lawsuit against the NCAA. The Paterno family camp doesn't sound too worried. ESPN.com's Lester Munson wrote last week that the Paterno family lawsuit is more viable than Corbett's "bizarre attack." The Paterno family lawsuit is a "serious effort that will determine the success or failure of the NCAA's efforts in the worst scandal in the history of college sports," Munson wrote.

Penn State's trustees -- at least those not involved in the Paterno family lawsuit -- are trying to promote the reforms they've adopted since the NCAA sanctions, hoping that the NCAA will eventually reconsider the penalties. Board chairman Keith Masser and trustee Joel Myers told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the university's consent agreement with the NCAA allows it to be reopened if both sides agree.

"You've got to serve some jail time before you serve probation," Masser told the AP. "Everybody wants to get this behind us as soon as possible, so we want to do whatever we can to get this behind us as soon as possible."
IRVING, Texas -- The big topic of conversation at the Big 12's spring meetings Wednesday was doing the league's part to help piece together the College Football Playoff selection committee, but plenty more took place inside the meeting room, too. Here are a few notes from the Big 12's business this week.

Big 12 plays officiating guinea pig

Conference officials approved the use of eight-man officiating crews for the 2013 season. It'll be a one-year experiment that's revisited at the end of the season, and the Big 12 will be the only league in college football to use the additional official, who will be located in the offensive backfield, on the side of the quarterback, opposite the referee.

The crews, which will cost an additional $2,000 per school, will be used for all conference games and four selected nonconference games.

"Most people think our officials are as good as any in the country, and [Big 12 coordinator of officials] Walt [Anderson] is a seasoned and successful coordinator and an innovative guy. I think that's why [the national coordinator and other league coordinators] thought the Big 12 was a pretty good place to try it out."

Bowl tie-ins getting straightened out

Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the Big 12 won't officially announce its bowl tie-ins this week, but the picture is coming into shape during the week of meetings, and the Alamo Bowl could replace the Cotton Bowl as the top Big 12 game for teams who don't qualify for the four-team playoff.

"We're not finished with that yet, but it looks like it's going to work that way," Bowlsby said. "We're not quite there, but we're not far."

He reiterated his stance that the Big 12 wants its bowl games to remain anchored in Texas but also have games out west (i.e., Arizona and/or California) and a game in Florida (possibly the Russell Athletic Bowl or Gator Bowl), as well as a game with a destination within driving distance for fans. That sentiment was driven in part by 25,000 Iowa State fans showing up at last year's Liberty Bowl in Memphis.

NCAA briefs Big 12 on lawsuits

NCAA attorney Donald Remy updated Big 12 officials on class-action lawsuits filed by former players claiming the NCAA used their images in video games without their permission. Former Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller and former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon are among the plaintiffs.

"This is years away from being resolved, and there’s probably an appeals process after that," Bowlsby said.

He declined to speculate on what a loss for the NCAA might mean, citing "too many moving parts" in any fallout from the lawsuits.

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