Jay Paterno, the son of late Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, is suing the university.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Paterno, a PSU assistant from 1995-2011, is suing the university for “improper termination” along with former another former assistant, Bill Kenney. In the lawsuit, the two coaches accuse Penn State “of engaging in civil conspiracy against them” and are seeking compensation “in excess of $1 million.”
Paterno and Kenney (who coached at PSU from 1989-2011) were not retained as assistant coaches when Bill O’Brien was hired by the school in January 2012 following the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Per the Post-Gazette, Paterno and Kenney claim that Penn State has made it extremely difficult for them to attain coaching positions.
In the complaint, they claim the university damaged their reputations through press releases made after O’Brien hired his staff and through its acceptance of the NCAA consent decree, making them unemployable for other football coaching positions.
In the lawsuit, Paterno says he applied for head-coaching positions at “James Madison, Connecticut, Boston College and Colorado.” He was not interviewed by any of the aforementioned schools. The lawsuit also claims that ESPN “advised Paterno that they were interested in his services” as a college football commentator. After Penn State signed the NCAA consent decree, the discussions between Paterno and ESPN were “discontinued.”
Kenney claims that he applied for several positions in both the NFL and at colleges around the country, but “questions have arisen about whether he ignored ‘red flags’ concerning Sandusky.” Kenney is currently the tight ends and offensive tackles coach at Western Michigan.
The full lawsuit can be viewed here.
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