Two former Penn State football coaches, including Jay Paterno, are suing the university over actions they claim ruined their coaching careers, according to a report from Reuters. Paterno is joined by former offensive line coach Bill Kenney in the suit.
Paterno, the son of former head coach Joe Paterno and the team's quarterbacks coach for 12 years, and Kenney allege that in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal their careers have been irreparably damaged. Both were fired by Bill O'Brien, the man hired to replace the elder Paterno, in January 2012.
In the suit, the coaches allege:
"The terminations ... had the effect of branding and stigmatizing plaintiffs as participants in the [Jerry] Sandusky scandal, and, by so doing, maligned plaintiffs' heretofore stellar reputations."
Paterno and Kenney are seeking more than $1 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
Paterno claims that the university's failure to indicate that his firing was unrelated to the Sandusky scandal is what negatively affected his career and tagged him with "pariah status." In the suit, he claims that he was refused interviews for the head coaching positions at UConn and James Madison University, in addition to several broadcasting positions.
Paterno has not coached since being fired by Penn State. Kenney is currently the offensive line coach at Western Michigan.
- Alex Hampl