Family of Penn’s Joe Paterno to join lawsuit against NCAA: attorney

Joe Paterno Credit: Getty Images
Joe Paterno, who died in January 2012, was accused of covering up sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky.
Credit: Getty Images

The family of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno would be among a group of plaintiffs filing a lawsuit against the U.S. college sports association Thursday over its reaction to the Jerry Sandusky scandal, a lawyer for the Paternos said.

Speaking on “Costas Tonight” on NBC Sports Network, Wick Sollers said the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) used “coercion and behind-the-scenes threats” to force Penn to pay severe penalties for its handling of the sex abuse scandal.

The NCAA threatened the school with the so-called “Death Penalty,” the complete elimination of the football program for one season, to force school officials into accepting the fines, Sollers said on Wednesday’s program.

The penalties imposed in July 2012 included a $60 million fine and a four-year loss of post-season eligibility, based on an independent investigation by former FBI Director Louis Freeh into how Penn handled reports of abuse by Sandusky, an assistant football coach.

Freeh found Paterno, who died in January 2012, along with other university officials, covered up Sandusky’s sexual abuse for years and showed a callous disregard for the victims to protect a multimillion-dollar football program.

Sue Paterno, the coach’s widow, has said her husband had never hindered investigators looking into Sandusky’s behavior.

Sandusky is in prison serving a sentence of 30 to 60 years for the sexual abuse of 10 boys in a 15-year period. Some of the abuse occurred in the Penn State locker room.

Until Sandusky’s arrest in 2011, Paterno was one of the most revered figures in American sports due in large part to his ranking as the winningest coach in major college football.

The suit is expected to be filed in Centre County, Penn. Former Penn State football stars Michael Robinson, Patrick Mauti and Justin Kurpeikis are expected to be among the plaintiffs, Paterno family representatives said in a statement released late Wednesday.

Donald Remy, the NCAA’s chief legal officer, declined to comment on the pending lawsuit.

Penn State officials said the school is not directly involved in any lawsuit against the NCAA that the Paterno family may join.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.