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Paterno lawsuit against NCAA will move forward

Updated: Wednesday, January 8 2014, 11:42 AM EST

By: WJAC Web Staff and The Associated Press

BELLEFONTE, Pa. -- Some claims made by the Joe Paterno family and Penn State University supporters in a lawsuit against the NCAA can proceed to the next phase in court, a judge has ruled.

Senior Judge John Leete, of Potter County, issued his opinion Tuesday, saying that some parts of the legal battle between the Paternos and the NCAA can move to the discovery phase.

Paterno family lawyer Wick Sollers said Leete’s ruling was a “significant victory” for the case, saying that some of the most critical claims in the lawsuit against the NCAA will move forward.

Leete’s decision allows both parties to continue with compiling and filing for discovery items, like subpoenaing documents and dispositions of people they think will be helpful to their cases.

The lawsuit includes family members of former Nittany Lion’s football head coach Joe Paterno, Penn State trustees and former football players and coaches, who are in part trying to have the sanctions imposed by the NCAA in July 2012 overturned.

The ruling would require the NCAA to share background information about the sanctions that were imposed. NCAA President Mark Emmert and former NCAA director Ed Ray are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Leete dismissed breach of contract claims related to the case, saying that Penn State University must become involved in the lawsuit in order for parts of the lawsuit to proceed. Leete gave PSU 30 days to join the lawsuit, saying the school is an “indispensable party” in the lawsuit.

The NCAA imposed the sanctions on the school following the issuance of the Freeh Report, the internal investigation Penn State paid for and was complied by former FBI Director Louis Freeh and his company.

NCAA sanctions against the school included a $60 million fine, loss of football scholarships, a four-year bowl ban and the vacating of more than 100 victories. The NCAA did change direction on the scholarship reductions, allowing some scholarship to be reinstated over the course of several years.

On Twitter Tuesday afternoon, two of Joe Paterno’s sons reacted to Leete’s decision.

“Ladies and Gentleman – the court just gave us Discovery in Paterno vs. NCAA. Here we go,” Scott Paterno tweeted. “The court left some claims alone, kicked others, replead others – bottom line the case moves forward. Bring it on.”

“There are some things in life you fight for to your last breath if need be. Penn State & the truth are worth fight for,” Jay Paterno tweeted.

There was no date given for when discovery materials would be required to be filed with the court.




Paterno lawsuit against NCAA will move forward


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Who's Who in the Jerry Sandusky Case

  • Joe Amendola

    Joseph L. Amendola is Jerry Sanduskys defense attorney. 

     He established a private law practice in 1982 and has defended many high profile cases in Centre County. Since Sanduskys arrest Amendola has argued the 52-counts of abuse charges against his client are not specific enough to take to trial. Amendola has said that Sandusky is innocent of the charges, and that he flat out denies any sexual conduct and the allegations of prolonged abuse. Amendola said some of the acts described by victims -- like touching or naked shared showers -- might have been misinterpreted by the alleged victims.

  • Judge John Cleland

    In 2011, Judge John Cleland was assigned the case of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, who stands accused multiple counts of child molestation. 

    Cleland was appointed judge following the recusal of all the judges on the Centre County Court of Common Pleas.  The judges stepped aside to prevent any bias or perceived bias in their affiliation with Penn State University or the Second Mile Charity founded by Sandusky.

    Cleland received his undergraduate degree from Denison University and in 1972, his J.D. The National Law Center of The George Washington University, 1972.

    Cleland began his legal career as a law clerk for United States District Judge Barron P. McCune. After that, he went into the private practice in law until his appointment to the McKean County Court of Common Pleas in 1984. 

    He served on the court from 1984 to 2008. That year, he was appointed an interim judge on the Pennsylvania Superior Court. After one year on the court, he became a senior judge for the courts on which he had previously served.

  • Linda Kelly

    Attorney General Linda L. Kelly was nominated by Governor Tom Corbett to take over his role as Pennsylvanias top law enforcement officer.  She took the oath of office on May 27, 2011.

    Kelly has been a prosecutor for more than 30 years, serving as both an assistant district attorney in Allegheny County and most recently as senior litigation counsel as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

    Kelly is the first woman to lead the Office of Attorney General since it became an independent elected office in 1981 and Kelly is only the second woman to ever serve as Pennsylvania's Attorney General.  

    Kelly has handled the prosecution of a variety of other crimes including racketeering, narcotics cases and illegal gambling operations. She has prosecuted and supervised a number of cases based on investigations by the Internal Revenue Service, Postal Inspector and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    Kelly is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English, and the Duquesne University School of Law.

    She and her husband, Paul, are the parents of a daughter, Kate, who is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

  • Jerry Sandusky

    Jerry Sandusky was born in Washington, Pa.   He played football at Penn State from 1963 " 1965, eventually becoming a member of Joe Paternos coaching staff.   Sandusky was the defensive coordinator on Penn States two national championship teams 82, 86.    He retired in 1999.  His last game was a memorable one, being carried off the field after his defense shutout Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl.

    Sandusky founded the Second Mile Charity in 1977.   President George H. W. Bush praised the organization as a "shining example" of charity work in a 1990 letter that encouraged others to volunteer in community organizations.

    On November 4, 2011, a grand jury indicted Sandusky on 40 counts of sex crimes against young boys.  Those crimes allegedly took place from 1994 to 2009 taking place at his home, on the Penn State campus and other locations.  The attorney generals office claims Sandusky used Second Mile Charity to lure his victims.

  • Frank Noonan

    Frank Noonan was nominated by Gov. Tom  Corbett on January 18, 2011, to be Commissioner of Pennsylvania State Police and was confirmed by the State Senate on April 12, 2011.    

    Frank Noonan is a career investigator with more than 30 years of experience.  He began his career in 1971 as an FBI agent, investigating public corruption, drugs, bank robberies and kidnappings.   Noonan took a lead role in the Sandusky child abuse investigation. 

    After the arrest,  Noonan said the investigation was about more than football and Penn State.  He said, the case is about children who have had their innocence stolen from them and a culture that did nothing to stop it or preventing it from happening to others."

  • Tim Curley

    Tim Curley faces charges of perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse. 

     The accusations surround alleged Victim Two who was reportedly seen in a Penn State locker room shower with Jerry Sandusky.   According to the Grand Jury presentment, former head coach Joe Paterno contacted Tim Curley about the suspected abuse.    Curley has plead not guilty to the charges. 

     Curley grew up across the street from the University Park Campus and worked as a Penn State bat boy.  In 1993, Curley was named athletic director and oversaw massive growth of the sports program, millions in donations, 21 NCAA championships and 64 Big Ten titles. 

  • Gary Schultz

    Gary Schultz faces charges of perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse. 

    The accusations surround alleged Victim Two who was reportedly seen in a Penn State locker room shower with Jerry Sandusky.   Schultz has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

    For 14 years, Schultz served as the vice president for finance and business.  He also oversaw several departments including police, human resources and legal services.  Last year, Schultz attended the opening of the Gary Schultz Child Care Center.  After his indictment, his name was removed from that building.

  • Dottie Sandusky

    Dorothy Dottie Sandusky is the wife of Jerry Sandusky. 

    The couple married in 1966.  They took in numerous foster children before adopting six children of their own.


 
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Sandusky Case: Grand Jury Presentments (WARNING: Material is graphic)

1st Grand Jury Presentment

2nd Grand Jury Presentment

Washington Times