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Judge Gives NCAA Permission to File New Response Despite Paterno Estate's Objections

by on July 07, 2015 11:06 AM

Despite objections from the Paterno estate, the NCAA will be able to file a massive new response to the allegations in the estate’s long running defamation lawsuit.

Last month, the NCAA asked the Centre County Court of Common Pleas for permission to file a 175 page document attacking allegations that the athletic organization overstepped its authority in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Judge John Leete granted that request in a new court order, allowing the NCAA to file an amended response to the Paterno estate’s allegations.

The NCAA’s filing defends the quality of the Freeh report and the legality of the now-lifted consent decree with Penn State, as well as accusing the Paterno estate of trying to rehash allegations the court has already dismissed.

“The NCAA further denies that it made any statements about Jay Paterno and William Kenney and denies that any statements made by the NCAA caused Plaintiffs ‘significant harm,’” reads the NCAA’s filing.

Attorneys for the estate of the former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno and assistant football coaches Jay Paterno and William Kenney strongly opposed the NCAA’s request to file the massive new document.

They argued that allowing the NCAA to amend its response would “affect the plaintiffs’ substantial rights and work against the just, speedy, and inexpensive resolution of this case” by violating established court procedures. The Paterno estate’s lawyers accused the NCAA of using this new filing as a way to further stall the case.

Judge Leete did not address these concerns in his order, granting the NCAA’s request without argument. Attorneys for the plaintiffs must respond to the new filing later this month. 

The three plaintiffs have been suing the NCAA since May 2013 for allegedly making defamatory remarks that decreased the value of the Paterno estate and made it more difficult for Jay Paterno and Kenney to find work.


Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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