Jay Paterno, Bill Kenney sue Penn State for 'improper termination'

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Jay Paterno is targeting Penn State University in another lawsuit. He and fellow former assistant coach Bill Kenney sued the university in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, claiming improper termination when they were not retained as assistant coaches by Penn State coach Bill O'Brien in January 2012.

They're seeking compensation in excess of $1 million and accuse Penn State of engaging in civil conspiracy against them.

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.

"It is common practice for incoming head coaches to select their own coaching staff. Penn State will have no further comment on this matter," said university spokeswoman Lisa Powers.

The suit claims Kenney has applied for several open positions in the NFL and at colleges. When he has been interviewed, according to the lawsuit, questions have arisen about whether he "ignored 'red flags' " concerning Jerry Sandusky, and the open positions often have been filled by less-experienced coaches.

It has been a similar situation for Paterno, according to the suit.

He claims to have applied for open head-coaching positions at colleges such as James Madison, Connecticut, Boston College and Colorado, and wasn't interviewed for any of them.

Paterno and Kenney accuse Penn State of civil conspiracy, claiming that the university, NCAA president Mark Emmert, other NCAA employees and Louis Freeh's legal organization worked together and that their "concerted actions" deprived them of their rights and damaged their reputations by associating them with the enabling of child sexual abuse by Sandusky.

This is the second lawsuit Paterno and Kenney have filed against Penn State. They're also plaintiffs in a suit against the NCAA and the university.

View the lawsuit below or click here to download the suit.


Mark Dent: mdent@post-gazette.com, 412-439-3791 and Twitter @mdent05 First Published July 22, 2014 12:00 AM

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