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Paterno Family Reported to be Filing Lawsuit Against NCAA

by on May 28, 2013 9:22 PM

It appears we're about to see another dramatic twist in the convoluted Jerry Sandusky scandal. An NBC Sports executive tells StateCollege.com that the Paterno family is filing a lawsuit against the NCAA.

That revelation comes as NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas takes another look at the controversial Freeh report.

"(The Freeh Report) will be the focus of Costas Tonight according to Adam Freifeld, a vice president of communications for NBC Sports. He says the show was taped Tuesday and will air Wednesday at 11 p.m. on NBCSN, following an NHL hockey playoff game.

Freifeld says the Costas show will include appearances by Wick Sollers, the Paterno family attorney; former U.S. Attorney General and Gov. of Pennsylvania, Dick Thornburgh; and Dan McGinn, a Paterno family spokesperson.

"They will be announcing a new lawsuit against the NCAA on behalf of the Paternos, several Penn State trustees, faculty, former players and coaches." says Freifeld. That has not been confirmed by outside sources. Freifeld did not explain what the Paterno's are asking for in their lawsuit.

StateCollege.com left messages for Wick Sollers and the Paterno family but those messages were not immediately returned.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, university spokesperson David La Torre says, "The university is not a party to any lawsuit against the NCAA that may be filed by the Paterno family. Penn State remains committed to full compliance with the consent decree and the athletics integrity agreement. We look forward to continuing to work with Sen. George Mitchell and recognize the important role that intercollegiate athletics provides for our student athletes and the wider university community."

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is already suing the NCAA. Corbett claims the sanctions will have a negative effect on the economy. The university is also not a part of that legal action.

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh, was hired by Penn State's Board of Trustees after the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case exploded into the national consciousness. Sandusky, once the football team's beloved defensive coordinator, was eventually convicted for sexually abusing several children.

In his report, Judge Freeh was highly critical of Penn State leaders. He blamed them for a conspiracy of silence. Freeh singled out the actions former president Graham Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley, former administrator Gary Schultz and former head football coach Joe Paterno.

Spanier, Curley and Schultz were later charged with perjury, obstruction of justice and endangering the welfare of a child, in part because of information contained in the Freeh report.

Critics charge there was a rush to judgement and that important pieces of the puzzle were omitted. Spanier, Curley and Schultz were never interviewed by investigators involved in putting the report together.

Former governor Dick Thornburgh was part of a group hired by the Paternos to examine the Freeh report. "It's incomplete. It's full of inaccuracies," Thornburgh said of the Freeh report, last February. "Much was overlooked, much was misrepresented and the fact is, it really isn't deserving of the basis for action that was insinuated by the NCAA."

The NCAA used the Freeh report to justify serious sanctions against Penn State. Those sanctions include a $60 million fine, scholarship reductions and a four year bowl ban.

After the Freeh report was made public, Bob Costas said it raised serious concerns about the university's handling of the sex abuse scandal. However, after the Paterno family issued its own report, Costas said the issue deserved another look.

We'll find out more about the Paterno lawsuit and what Costas has to say Wednesday night.

 



Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of StateCollege.com. Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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by Ben Jones
Penn State Football: Costas Tonight to Revisit Freeh Report Wednesday
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