In response to Judge Leete’s ruling in early January denying the NCAA’s preliminary objections to the claims filed on behalf of ourselves, certain members of the Penn State faculty, former football coaches and players, and the Paterno family, we have filed an amended complaint with the court today.
The amended complaint differs from the original complaint in two primary respects.
First, in the January ruling, the court ordered the breach of contract claims dismissed without prejudice to amend, accepting the NCAA’s argument that Penn State has an interest in the claims and, therefore, that the claims cannot be litigated without the university’s participation in the litigation. Accordingly, the amended complaint adds Penn State as a “nominal defendant” on the contract claim only. To be clear, the plaintiffs do not seek any monetary damages or other relief from Penn State, nor do we ask that the court order Penn State to take any action. We ask only for a declaration that the plaintiffs have rights under the NCAA rules that were violated, and that the Consent Decree imposed by the NCAA be declared null and void. Our claim is now, and always has been, against the NCAA.
Second, the amended complaint also responds to the Court’s request for more detailed allegations regarding the lost job opportunities suffered by Coach Jay Paterno and Coach Bill Kenney as a result of the Consent Decree imposed by the NCAA and the statements made by the NCAA in relation to the decree. These coaches are well respected in their field and would have had numerous job opportunities had not the NCAA falsely accused them of wrongdoing. The amended complaint describes the interest that other universities, NFL teams and sports networks expressed in the two coaches prior to the imposition of the consent decree.
We were very encouraged by the Court’s ruling in January. This lawsuit is extremely important to everyone who wants to know the truth about the unlawful mishandling of the Sandusky matter by the NCAA. In short order we expect to gain access to the documents and records in this case and begin deposing the key parties. We welcome the opportunity to explore the record in a full, fair and transparent manner.