Joe Paterno’s son, Jay, was an assistant coach at the time when the Jerry Sandusky child molestation charges were uncovered. Now Jay and another former assistant coach, Bill Kennedy, are suing Penn State for wrongful termination. The pair claim that the university unfairly linked them to Jerry Sandusky’s child molestation charges and would like a sum of $1 million and a statement from Penn State saying that they did nothing wrong in the Sandusky scandal.
Paterno and Kenney said in the lawsuit that they and other coaches at Penn State were let go in early 2012 “at the height of the Sandusky scandal’s dark shroud and without any attempt whatsoever by Penn State to preserve the reputations of these guiltless individuals.”
Jay’s father, legendary coach Joe Paterno, was fired before the 2011 season had ended in response to his perceived cover-up of the Sandusky child molestation scandal, and his assistants took over to finish the season. Bill O’Brien was then hired in January 2012 and replaced most of the staff with people he preferred. Penn State’s spokesperson, Lisa Powers, issued a small statement which said that it is common practice for new coaches to be allowed to pick their own coaching staff. There has been no further comment from Penn State.
Their lawsuit says they have been deprived of their constitutional liberty and property interest without due process of law, alleges intentional interference with contractual relations, says a civil conspiracy has occurred and charges that Penn State violated state wage law.
Jay Paterno is now a sports writer and has written a book, which is due to be released soon. Kennedy has moved on as an assistant at Western Michigan University. It will be interesting to see what the law decides in this case.
[h/t FOX Sports]