On Wednesday night, the family of the late Joe Paterno will announce a lawsuit aimed at the NCAA’s “execution of discipline” in reaction to the Jerry Sandusky scandal that rocked Penn State. According to Scott Gleeson and Daniel Uthman of USA Today Sports, the news will be announced by Paterno family attorney Wick Sollers, former Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh and family spokesman Dan McGinn. The announcement will air during Bob Costas’ Costas Tonight on NBC Sports Network after Game 7 of the Chicago Blackhawks vs. Detroit Red Wings series.
It will serve as the next step in a long process as the family works to distance itself from Sandusky, who spent many years at Paterno’s side as Penn State’s defensive coordinator. More than a decade after his retirement, in 2012, he was convicted of 45 counts of child sex abuse and will spend the rest of his life in prison.
The child abuse scandal eventually cost Paterno his job after 62 years on the Nittany Lions staff. His family has been working to clear his name from any wrongdoing in relation to Sandusky ever since.
The university’s Board of Trustees approved an expenditure of a shade over $8 million in having former FBI director Louis Freeh and his staff interview more than 400 people and review more than 3.5 million documents before finally putting together the Freeh Report. The report made it clear that not only did school leaders such as Graham Spanier and Gary Schultz have explicit knowledge of Sandusky showering with boys, but so did Paterno.
In reaction to this information, the NCAA levied a four-year bowl ban on the school, reduced the number of scholarships the football program could offer and levied a $60 million fine.
However, the Paterno family is hoping to prove in court that the punishments were made in a “fundamentally inappropriate and unprecedented manner.”
Basically, the family does not want the entire school’s image — and of course their patriarch’s in extension — to have suffered so dramatically from the heinous, horrible crimes of a single individual.
USA Today procured an excerpt on what the NCAA should be expecting on Wednesday night, although the governing body of collegiate sports will not be making a comment until it has seen the lawsuit itself.
“The lawsuit is being filed against the NCAA and Mark Emmert, in his individual and official capacity as the president of the NCAA, and Edward Ray, who was the chairman of the executive committee of the NCAA. It’s being filed by certain trustees, certain former players, certain former coaches, certain former faculty members, as well as the estate of Joe Paterno, to redress the NCAA’s 100 percent adoption of the Freeh Report and imposition of a binding consent decree against Penn State University. The reality is that consent decree was imposed through coercion and threats behind the scenes and there was no ability for anyone to get redress. There was no board approval, there was no transparency, and there was no consideration of this consent decree.”
[H/T: SI Wire]