Paterno family suit against Penn State, NCAA heads to court

BY foxsports • February 6, 2015

BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- Lawyers for Penn State, the NCAA and the family of Joe Paterno are heading to a central Pennsylvania courtroom to argue before a judge about unresolved issues in the Paterno family's lawsuit over the 2012 consent decree between the university and the NCAA.

The hearing Friday at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte comes amid battles in the case over confidentiality in the discovery process, and whether the lawsuit should include a breach of contract claim.

The plaintiffs once included former players and trustees, but the case has been narrowed and is now being pursued by Paterno's family, his son and former assistant Jay Paterno, former assistant Bill Kenney and former trustee Al Clemens. The defendants are the NCAA, NCAA officials Mark Emmert and Ed Ray, and Penn State.

The NCAA announced last month it had agreed to restore to Penn State 112 football wins from Paterno's later years that had been voided by the consent decree, and to allow a $60 million fine to be spent entirely within Pennsylvania to address child abuse issues.

NCAA had previously restored the Nittany Lions' full complement of football scholarships and allowed it to participate in postseason play.

The consent decree was entered into in July 2012, shortly after former Paterno assistant Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and sentenced to 30-60 years in state prison. Sandusky's appeals have so far failed, but he maintains his innocence.

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