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NCAA Files to Dismiss Paterno Family Lawsuit

by on July 23, 2013 7:11 PM

The NCAA is asking a judge to dismiss the Paterno estate-led lawsuit. This is the third Jerry Sandusky scandal-related lawsuit the NCAA has asked the court to throw out since January.

The Paterno family is suing the NCAA for breach of contract, civil conspiracy, defamation and commercial disparagement. 

The lawsuit lists 21 defendants, including the Paterno family, former Penn State football players and coaches, Penn State faculty and a student and five members of the Penn State board of trustees. The lawsuit is seeking to void the consent decree, which would overturn Penn State's sanctions. 

On July 23, 2012, the NCAA penalized Penn State in the wake of the Sandusky scandal with a $60 million fine, a significant loss of football scholarships, a four-year postseason football ban and all wins vacated under former football coach Joe Paterno between 1998-2011.

In court documents filed Tuesday, the NCAA says the lawsuit lacks legal standing and fails to include the necessary defendants, among other "legal deficiencies." In a news release, the NCAA says, "Penn State leaders determined the consent decree was the best course for the university and its community to put the devastating Sandusky affair behind them. Those who continue to challenge Penn State's right to make that decision only prolong the pain and delay the recovery."

The NCAA says the Paterno's lawsuit is flawed because "it complains primarily about the findings in the Freeh report," which, the NCAA goes on to say, "The NCAA did not commission the Freeh Report nor had any role in it."

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh was hired by Penn State to conduct an internal investigation into whether there was any administrative wrongdoing in the handling of allegations of Jerry Sandusky's sex crimes against children.

The NCAA also says the court must dismiss the lawsuit because Penn State should be listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, yet is not. University officials have said they are not a party to the lawsuit. 

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Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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