UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State University sought this morning to dismiss claims former assistant football coach Mike McQueary made against the school in a $4 million lawsuit.
In a 27-page document filed in the Centre County Court of Common Pleas, the university asserted that Mr. McQueary's claims of defamation, misrepresentation of facts and his request for whistleblower status lack required specificity.
Mr. McQueary's defamation claim, presented in his complaint, centers on a statement former Penn State president Graham Spanier made in November 2011 reaffirming the honesty and integrity of former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz.
Mr. McQueary said he warned Mr. Curley and Mr. Schulz about former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and sexual attacks against children.
Penn State contends this statement wasn't defamatory.
Also in Mr. McQueary's complaint, Mr. Schultz and Mr. Curley misrepresented by not reporting the incident to the proper authorities as Mr. McQueary said they promised.
Penn State contends Mr. Schultz's and Mr. Curley's actions, even if factual, do not reach the standards for misrepresentation, particularly concerning whether their actions can be proved to have actually caused harm to Mr. McQueary.
In November, Penn State requested a stay for the lawsuit. Judge Thomas Galvin denied it in December.
Mr. McQueary filed the lawsuit in October 2012, claiming he was fired for speaking to the grand jury. Penn State officially relieved him of his duties months earlier, in July.
He testified in 2011 to a grand jury and then at trial in 2012 about seeing Mr. Sandusky showering with a young boy in 2001 and reporting the event to former coach Joe Paterno and then Mr. Schultz and Mr. Curley.
Mr. Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts in June.
Mr. McQueary had been placed on administrative leave in November 2011.
Mark Dent: email@example.com and on Twitter: @mdent05. First Published January 15, 2013 4:00 PM