Paterno Lawsuit Against NCAA Moves Forward

Fight over sanctions isn't over yet.

The bowl ban is lifted at Penn State, and so are reduced scholarships, but Joe Paterno’s family is still pursuing a lawsuit against the NCAA, challenging the process that led to the now-mostly lifted sanctions imposed after the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

The Morning Call reports a judge decided Thursday to let the lawsuit proceeed — but ordered that a number of co-plaintiffs, including some members of the Penn State Board of Trustees, be removed from the case.

The suit alleges the NCAA violated its own constitution and bylaws by imposing the sanctions without following its own disciplinary procedures, which require an investigation and a hearing by its infractions board. Rather, the NCAA relied on the findings of former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who was hired by the trustees to investigate the Penn State administration’s handling of allegations against Sandusky.

The suit also alleges the NCAA’s consent decree ruined the career prospects of Jay Paterno and Kenny; disparaged the name and reputation of Joe Paterno; defamed Jay Paterno, (and other assitant coaches); and that NCAA officials and Freeh conspired to impose unwarranted punishment on the university and members of its community.

While the bowl and scholarship sanctions have been lifted, Penn State must still pay a $60 million fine under the terms of its settlement with the NCAAA. And Paterno’s family still wants his last 111 wins — erased from the record books under the punishment — restored.