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NCAA Asks Court to Force Paterno, Kenney to Release Documents

by on July 13, 2015 2:30 PM

The NCAA is calling out former Penn State football coaches Jay Paterno and William Kenney.

In a filing on Friday, the NCAA's attorneys said that Paterno and Kenney are falling short in their discovery obligations.

The collegiate athletics governing body has released over 16,000 documents so far during pre-trial discovery, and they feel that the plaintiffs are "shirking" their discovery obligations by failing to release documents that hold relevancy to the case. The filing is a motion asking the court to compel the release of documents.

"Jay Paterno and William Kenney repeatedly proclaim they are on a search for ‘truth,’ but their actions say otherwise," the filing says. "From the beginning of this case they have taken the view that they can accuse never have to explain, that they can play offense but never have to defend. But this is a neutral forum and a level playing field. It is time for them to try and prove what they allege."

Paterno and Kenney are suing the NCAA and Penn State. Former university trustee Al Clemens was previously a plaintiff on the suit. They claim that the Freeh Report, consent decree, and other actions by the NCAA have hurt the coaches' job prospects and caused them financial damage.

The lawsuit alleges that statements in the consent decree are demonstrably false, that the NCAA knew this when it issued sweeping sanctions against the Penn State football program, and that those false statements have injured the Paterno estate, Jay Paterno, and Kenney.

In the latest filing, the NCAA says the burden falls on the plaintiffs to provide documents and evidence backing up their claims. 

"It is their charge, their burden, and their responsibility to come forward with evidence in their possession," the filing says. "Their paltry productions in response to the NCAA’s document request fall far short of satisfying their discovery obligations, much less demonstrate an interest in truth-seeking."

The NCAA had "substantially completed" its discovery obligation by December 2014, according to the filing. On the other hand, the NCAA says that both Paterno and Kenney have repeatedly delayed releasing documents and are hindering the organization's ability to proceed with pre-trial preparation including depositions.

The NCAA is asking for a bevy of documents including those related to Paterno's book Paterno Legacy, income for the two coaches, employment attempts since 2011, the consent decree, the Freeh Report, and more. 

Attorneys for both the plaintiffs and the NCAA were not immediately available for comment on the filing.

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Zach Berger is the managing editor of StateCollege.com. He graduated from Penn State University in 2014 with a degree in print journalism. Zach enjoys writing about a variety of topics ranging from football to government, music, and everything in between.
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