Following Friday’s announcement that the Paterno family dropped its lawsuit against the NCAA over its use of the Freeh report, both Sue Paterno and the NCAA expressed thoughts on the matter.
Paterno explained that the family had achieved all it needed to — helping to reverse the NCAA’s sanctions against Penn State and bring Joe Paterno back his wins that made him the all-time winningest coach in Division I college football.
“Our goal has always been to uncover and make transparent the full truth. We have done all we can in this litigation to achieve that end and the furtherance of it beyond this point will not yield anything new, which is why I have decided to end my litigation with the NCAA,” Sue Paterno said in the statement.
The NCAA, however, had a different theory for why the Paternos were not moving forward with the lawsuit.
“Its decision today, after years of investigation and discovery, to abandon its lawsuit rather than subject those facts to courtroom examination is telling,” NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said in a statement. ” We believe that the powerful record developed during discovery overwhelmingly confirmed what the NCAA has believed all along: the NCAA acted reasonably in adopting the conclusions of an eight-month investigation by Louis Freeh.”
Sue Paterno responded to the NCAA’s claims on Saturday, saying “The NCAA’s implication that the litigation was ceased out of a fear of discovery being revealed is absurd on its face. At every stage of this litigation we have sought to make a complete record available. As recently as three weeks ago, the NCAA successfully kept the evidence in this matter under seal.”
Because of the crucial evidence under seal, Paterno did not believe more information could surface. She also cited the “financial burden” of funding this case as another reason for dropping the lawsuit.
You can read Sue Paterno’s full statement below:
Less than a month ago, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale announced the findings of his independent report into events at Penn State, including matters involving the NCAA. In that report the Auditor General concluded that the Freeh report was paid for advocacy, a person arguably “hired to do (the board’s) bidding.” He also concluded that the NCAA was an organization just this side of FIFA and the IOC in terms of corruption. More specifically, he stated that the NCAA’s actions manifested an apparent “vendetta” against Penn State. That vendetta, and the NCAA’s propensity to distort matters to improve its image, once again manifested itself in its statement yesterday.
The NCAA’s implication that the litigation was ceased out of a fear of discovery being revealed is absurd on its face. At every stage of this litigation we have sought to make a complete record available. As recently as three weeks ago, the NCAA successfully kept the evidence in this matter under seal. It was this reality – that we could not make these records available for public inspection – coupled with the financial burden of private individuals facing a billion dollar entity with limitless funds that prompted the ending of the litigation.
In my statement yesterday, I sought to bring some closure after this became apparent. The tone of that statement was neither petty nor bitter, and it was our hope for that to be the last we said on it. But given the NCAA’s statement we felt this response was necessary.
So, with that in mind, we wish to make the following clear: we do not oppose the complete release of the discovery in this case, and support any effort for that record to be made public in its entirety. We have seen enough half-truths in this matter, a complete record of all discovery would be welcome.