Nationals

Pa. senator sues over NCAA use of Penn State fine

Pa. senator sues over NCAA use of Penn State fine

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) A Pennsylvania state senator sued the NCAA on Friday over its use of the $60 million fine that Penn State is paying for its handling of the child molestation scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, two days after the governor filed an antitrust lawsuit against the organization.

Sen. Jake Corman, who represents the area where Penn State's campus is located and chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, claims the NCAA's plans to spend the $60 million are an illegal violation of his oversight role for state government spending.

``Even though the NCAA intends to wrest such a large sum of Pennsylvania public funds, it has refused to submit to any control by Pennsylvania elected officials and refused to commit more than 25 percent of those public funds to Pennsylvania causes,'' Corman's lawsuit said.

Budget figures show the state contributed $214 million this year to Penn State's $4.3 billion budget.

NCAA spokeswoman Emily Potter declined comment on Corman's suit.

On Wednesday, Gov. Tom Corbett sued in federal court in an effort to have all of the Sandusky-related NCAA penalties thrown out, including the $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban and a reduction in football scholarships. The NCAA called that action meritless.

Friday also featured further legal maneuvering by a pair of Penn State administrators accused of covering up abuse allegations against Sandusky and an order restricting the use of electronic devices at a hearing next week in Sandusky's criminal case.

The county court filing by former Penn State administrators Gary Schultz and Tim Curley focus on the actions of Cynthia Baldwin, Penn State's former chief counsel. The pair of court filings further explore their previously stated claim that their rights were violated when Baldwin accompanied them to grand jury appearances two years ago.

Curley and Schultz argue they were illegally deprived of adequate legal representation. At issue is whether Baldwin was acting as their lawyer, or solely on behalf of the university.

Curley is on leave to serve out the last year of his contract as athletic director, while Schultz has retired as the school's vice president for business and finance.

The Sandusky judge's ruling regarding electronics was justified, he wrote, because a ``disheartening number of reporters'' violated his order that no communications be made from inside the courtroom during Sandusky's sentencing in October. Judge John Cleland said so many reporters ignored the order that it was not practical to attempt to punish them all for it, as had been threatened.

The post-sentencing motions hearing Thursday in Bellefonte centers on a claim by Sandusky that his lawyers lacked sufficient time to prepare for trial. Cleland has issued a transportation order so that Sandusky can attend in person.

Sandusky, who spent decades as an assistant football coach under Joe Paterno, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence after being convicted in June of 45 counts of sexual abuse against 10 boys. He maintains his innocence and is pursuing appeals.

Quick Links

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman tests positive for COVID-19 with Opening Day 12 days away

Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman tests positive for COVID-19 with Opening Day 12 days away

The New York Yankees could be without their top relief arm on Opening Night against the Nationals.

Manager Aaron Boone announced Saturday that Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman is experiencing “mild symptoms” after testing positive for the coronavirus and will be away from the team “for the foreseeable future.” Chapman is the third Yankees player to contract the virus after infielder DJ LeMahieu and reliever Luis Cessa tested positive in early July.

Boone’s announcement comes 12 days before the Yankees are scheduled to take on the Nationals in D.C. to kick off MLB’s abbreviated 2020 season. New York will play three games against Washington in the only series between the two clubs this year.

RELATED: ASTROS CANCEL PRACTICE AS STAFF MEMBER WAS POTENTIALLY EXPOSED TO COVID-19

However, if any team is built to absorb the loss of its closer, it’s the Yankees. Boone said that reliever Zack Britton would be the “natural guy” to handle ninth-inning duties if Chapman isn’t ready for the start of the season. New York’s bullpen also includes Adam Ottavino, Chad Green and Tommy Kahnle, each of whom—like Britton—would be a closer on most other teams.

On Friday, MLB and the players union announced that 28 of the 30 MLB teams had at least one player or staff member test positive for the coronavirus between intake screening and monitoring testing. Overall, 83 of the 11,149 samples collected have come back positive—a rate of 0.7 percent.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

Stay connected to the Nationals with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS:

Quick Links

Juan Soto, Victor Robles, Howie Kendrick among several Nationals players still not in Summer Camp

Juan Soto, Victor Robles, Howie Kendrick among several Nationals players still not in Summer Camp

WASHINGTON --More than a week into the Major League Baseball’s reboot, and its gleefully-named and grotesquely-sponsored Summer Camp, the Nationals are still in wait-and-see mode.

Two players tested positive for Coronavirus at intake screening. The team is not obligated to release their names and cannot do so without the player’s permission. So, what we do know is Juan Soto, Victor Robles and Howie Kendrick are among multiple players not yet in Nationals Park for workouts 12 days before the season is scheduled to begin.

Their health and safety is paramount. However, when they are not working with the team, the organization needs to formulate a baseball-specific plan to go forward without them, should the need arise. And, that time is close because the preparation window is closing.

RELATED: HOW WILL MLB'S NEW EXTRA INNING WITH A RUNNER ON SECOND RULE WORK STRATEGICALLY?

“Right now, we’re taking things one day at a time,” Davey Martinez said Saturday. “I’ve got to put eyes on these guys and see where they’re at. I know Soto was actually working out pretty good in the Dominican back home, so was Robles. I talked to those guys. We talked to the strength-and-conditioning guys. They think they’re in really good shape. They worked really hard. We’ll have to get them on the field.

“The biggest thing is they can be in great shape, but how much baseball shape have they done? To me, where something happens, if anybody strains an oblique, you’re looking at a significant amount of time. You’re probably looking at almost a whole season here with only 60 games. We got to be careful, we’ve got to see where they’re at. Then once they get here, we’ll determine whether they’re going to be ready or not.”

The Nationals have three exhibition games scheduled before the season opener against Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees. They can carry 30 players into that game. Martinez is trying to worry about who is in the stadium since he has no control over the clearances for the players who are not.

“We’re in a difficult situation,” Martinez said. “We really are with these guys. We’ve done everything we can. I know our strength guys have Zoomed with them and actually put them on some kind of workout program and watching them do what they can do in their apartment. You’re talking about some of our younger players, too. We don’t want to get them hurt. We’ve got to be smart. We’re also talking about a shorter season where we’ve got to win games right away. We’ll see how these guys come in and for me, it’s the baseball shape....Standing on their feet for seven, eight, nine innings.”

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE NATIONALS TALK PODCAST

Catcher Raudy Read played first base during Saturday’s intrasquad workout at Nationals Park. He was there in part because Read could well be a first baseman in the long-term. The Nationals also needed another body at the spot because Eric Thames -- their lone true first baseman available -- played for the opposing side.

The team variations spread across the infield and into the outfield because Soto, Robles and Luis Garcia remain in quarantine.

Martinez said “hopefully” the players in quarantine will be with the team soon. Even if they are, their window to be prepared for Cole is extremely limited, which is going to force the Nationals to start making contingency plans.