Hundreds more Penn State student-athletes lend support to Paterno lawsuit
More than 500 former Penn State student-athletes have added their names to statements in support of a lawsuit the family of Joe Paterno filed to overturn NCAA sanctions against the school.
The initial complaint in Centre County Court listed the family of the late Penn State football coach, as well as several university trustees, faculty members, coaches and former football players as plaintiffs in the suit, which also seeks damages and legal costs. Shortly afterward, more than 300 former university athletes issued a statement in support of the suit.
The student-athletes who have signed letters of support for the lawsuits span seven decades of play and 17 sports, group spokesman Brian Allen said.
The NCAA imposed sweeping sanctions against Penn State last summer in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, including $60 million in fines, a multi-year ban on bowl play, a reduction of scholarships and the removal of more than 100 Penn State wins.
Critics said the NCAA acted in haste and violated its own guidelines when it punished Penn State days after the controversial Freeh Report was released. The university-commissioned report was critical of the actions by Paterno, who died of lung cancer in January 2012, in response to the Sandusky scandal.
New Penn State athlete-alumni adding their support to the Paterno family's lawsuit are 1973 Heisman Trophy winner John Cappelletti, All-Americans Ed O'Neil, Charlie Getty, D.J. Dozier, Ki-Jana Carter and Michael Mauti, two-time national champion and Olympic wrestler Kerry McCoy and national soccer Player of the Year Christine Welsh.
Michael Mauti, a criminal justice graduate wrote: “I signed on because I have faith in justice and due process. I spent the last year fighting for it in the media, and I'll continue to fight for it with the men who built the program we all love. We all want what's best for our program.”
Sandusky, a retired football coach who was convicted of abusing boys in and around the Penn State campus, is serving a 30-60 year prison term.