Paterno family adds Penn State to lawsuit against NCAA

Wednesday February 5th, 2014

The family of legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno is suing the university. (Ned Dishman/Getty Images) The family of late Penn State coach Joe Paterno is suing the university. (Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

Plaintiffs led by the family of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno added the university as a defendant to a previously filed lawsuit on Wednesday, according to court documents.

The range of the original complaint included claims that the value of Paterno memorabilia was damaged and Penn State coaches were hampered in looking for new jobs following the school's firing of the legendary coach and its handling of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.

The NCAA, an original defendant, argued in October that the university should be added as a party in the case. 

The amended complaint adds Penn State as a nominal defendant, according to court documents, via the Daily Collegian.

"To be clear, we do not seek any monetary damages from Penn State, nor do we ask that the court order Penn State to take any action," said Wick Sollers, the attorney for the Paterno side. "We ask only for a declaration that the plaintiffs have rights under the NCAA rules that were violated, and that the Consent Decree imposed by the NCAA is null and void."

The new complaint also adds the defamation claims of former Penn State football coaches Jay Paterno and William Kenney.

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According to the documents, Paterno and Kenney claim to have suffered from damages to their reputations as football coaches and have been unable to find jobs despite their qualifications.

"This lawsuit is extremely important to everyone who wants to know the truth about the mishandling of the Sandusky matter by the NCAA and the University," Sollers said.
Plaintiffs in addition to the Paterno family include four Penn State Board of Trustee members and several faculty members, former coaches and former football players.

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