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Judge Dismisses Paterno-Kenney Lawsuit Against Penn State

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit brought by former Penn State coaches Jay Paterno and Bill Kenney against Penn State, according to the Associated Press.

The two assistant coaches filed the lawsuit in 2014, asking for more than $1 million in damages for reputational loss suffered as a result of their termination following the 2011 season when Bill O’Brien decided not to retain them on his staff. The coaches argued that all of their attempts to find employment have been met with “disinterest and disdain” (Paterno is currently a consultant/author in State college and Kenney is a coach at Western Michigan).

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Stengel that Paterno and Kenney were let go as part of the routine turnover that exists when any new head coach is hired. He also found no evidence Penn State made any stigmatizing comments about the coaches, according to the AP.

The ruling does not preclude Paterno and Kenney from refiling the lawsuit in state court. Their attorney Maurice Mitts told the AP he expects to press forward with the claims.

“This has been a long, ongoing process and certainly one day isn’t going to change the course of where we are headed,” Paterno said.

Other litigation as a result of the Sandusky fallout are still ongoing, most notably the Paterno family’s lawsuit against the NCAA. Former coach Mike McQueary is also suing Penn State for wrongful termination, although his claim is focused more around whistleblower statutes.

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