State Sen. Jake Corman wants to jump into the fray and help fight a federal lawsuit by the NCAA that seeks to void a new state law requiring Penn State's $60 million fine from the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal to be used exclusively in Pennsylvania.
On Wednesday Corman, a Republican whose district includes State College, asked U.S. Middle District Chief Judge Yvette Kane for permission to join Gov. Tom Corbett and other state officials as a defendant in the case.
Corman, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, introduced and was a driving force behind passage of the Institution of Higher Education Monetary Penalty Endowment Act that is the target of the NCAA's ire.
The NCAA claims that law is unconstitutional because it amounts to unlawful government interference in a contractual agreement between the NCAA and Penn State. Also, the NCAA claims the law constitutes improper interference with interstate commerce.
In seeking to join the fight, Corman claims he has a valid interest in participating in the federal case because in January he filed his own lawsuit against the NCAA over the use of the Penn State fine money. His suit seeks to bar the NCAA from releasing that money to any organizations outside Pennsylvania.
The state and federal cases have "significant overlap" in addressing the same issues, Corman insists in a petition to Kane.
The state court case is still being waged, he said, and any ruling in the Middle District Court fight would greatly affect its outcome, the senator contends.