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Trustee Ryan McCombie Outlines Reasoning for NCAA Suit in Letter to Board Chairman Keith Masser

by on May 30, 2013 9:04 PM

Ryan McCombie, a Penn State trustee and one of the 21 plaintiffs who sued the NCAA in a lawsuit filed Thursday sent a letter to board chairman Keith Masser to explain why he's taking a stand against the NCAA.

In his letter, McCombie says the NCAA "has a stranglehold on major college sports." McCombie notes that he's spent most of his career fighting for freedom, and that, "Our fundamental civil rights are tenuous and fragile. If we do not stand up and defend them, we risk losing them."

Including the Paterno family, 21 plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the NCAA on Thursday, seeking damages, a reversal of the sanctions and for the consent decree to be voided.

The 40-page lawsuit alleges each of the plaintiffs suffered harm because of the "unprecedented sanctions" that were imposed on Penn State when Penn State President Rodney Erickson signed the consent decree. They are suing the NCAA for breach of contract, intentional interference with contractual relations, civil conspiracy, defamation and commercial disparagement.

Penn State says it is not a party in the suit and had no further comment Thursday night.

McCombie's lawyer, Paul Kelly – who is representing several plaintiffs in the suit – said McCombie, as well as the other trustees and members of the Penn State faculty, are allowed to sue as a third party seeking damages even if Penn State as an institution waives its right to file a lawsuit. 

The letter McCombie sent to Masser is in its entirety below. 

Capt. Ryan McCombie's letter to Keith Masser

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