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Paterno Family Asks Judge to Force NCAA to Release Documents

by on April 14, 2014 2:49 PM

The legal wrangling between the Paterno family and the NCAA is being ratcheted up another notch.

Paperwork filed in Centre County Court Monday, asks a judge to force the NCAA and other plaintiffs to hand over documents that were requested as part of the discovery process.

The court motion was filed by Scott Paterno who is acting as an attorney for his family and Joe Paterno's estate,

In Monday's filing the plaintiffs claim the NCAA has not produced documents requested in earlier court filings and has "refused to identify what will be produced, or to verify their responses to requests for documents."

The plaintiffs say the NCAA has produced documents in at most four of the 30 instances in which documents have been requested. They contend that Emmert and Ray have not produced any documents.

Last week, Centre County Common Pleas President Judge Thomas Kistler issued an order on behalf of Potter County Judge John Leete, who is specially presiding over the case. The order schedules a hearing for May 19 at the Centre County Courthouse.

At the hearing, parties will make arguments regarding the Paterno family's desire to issue a subpoena to the NCAA and Penn State to acquire a slew of documents from the Louis Freeh investigation regarding how Penn State handled the child sexual abuse scandal at the hands of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky.

Last May, members of the Paterno family and a number of co-plaintiffs filed suit against the NCAA, NCAA President Mark Emmert and Edward Ray, the former chairman of the NCAA's Executive Committee. Included as plaintiffs are several members of the Penn State Board of Trustees, former Penn State Football players and coaches as well as some Penn State faculty members.

Penn State was added as a defendant after a judge ruled that part of the case could not proceed unless the university was involved.

The plaintiffs are asking to have the NCAA sanctions imposed on Penn State reversed. The suit also asks for monetary damages.

The Paterno family argues that the NCAA breached its contract with Penn State because the organization did not conduct it's own investigation, relying instead, on Louis Freeh's report as a basis for the sanctions.

The NCAA claims that Penn State's own president Rodney Erickson signed the consent decree that allowed the sanctions. The NCAA also says that claims made by the Paterno family are baseless, and that the plaintiffs in the case weren't hurt themselves by the sanctions, and therefore have no legal standing to sue.

Lawyers for the NCAA also reject the allegation that the consent decree defames Penn State or the Paterno family. A request for comment about Monday's court filing was not immediately returned.

The NCAA sanctions were imposed in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant football coach, was convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse. He is serving a 30 to 60 year sentence in state prison.

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Steve Bauer is Managing Editor & Chief Content Officer at StateCollege.com. Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy. You can e-mail Steve at Steve.Bauer@StateCollege.com and you can follow him on Twitter @SteveBauerSCcom
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