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Family of Joe Paterno Hopes Lawsuit Will Restore Coach’s Reputation

By Justin Udo

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (CBS) — The family of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno is suing the NCAA, part of their effort to clear the late coach’s name from the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal that brought the football program to its knees.

After the scandal broke, the NCAA fined Penn State $60 million, took away scholarships, and prohibited the school from playing in a bowl game for four years.  It also nullified 111 of Paterno’s wins as coach.

“Here’s the problem for the Paterno family: the university president with his directors agreed to these sanctions,” says Andrew Brandt, an expert sports law at Villanova University who has no connection to the case.  “They’re trying to invalidate something that was agreed to by the president of the university.”

He says this case being filed is very similar to the one that Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett filed against the NCAA, which Brandt describes as “allegations that the NCAA has overstepped its bounds, (that) the NCAA engaged in, quote unquote, unlawful conduct.”

The family claims the report on which the NCAA relied for its actions is fundamentally wrong, incomplete, and inaccurate.


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