PITTSBURGH - The NCAA, in its response to a lawsuit seeking to overturn a $60 million fine and other sanctions against Pennsylvania State University from the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal, says the late football coach Joe Paterno's relatives are attempting to rewrite history.
The NCAA's 64-page response, filed Tuesday in Centre County Court, argues that the university willingly agreed to sanctions including a temporary postseason ban and scholarship reductions after Sandusky, Paterno's onetime defensive coordinator, was convicted of abusing boys, including some incidents at campus football facilities.
Paterno's family has sued to overturn the sanctions, arguing that Penn State was wrongly forced by the NCAA to accept the penalties that harmed the school, defamed Paterno's memory, and affected the ability of his son and assistant coach, Jay, and others to find jobs.
The NCAA also voided 112 wins from Paterno's tenure that coincided with Sandusky's years-long abuse of the boys, meaning Paterno is no longer recognized as the NCAA's winningest Division I coach.
The NCAA contends the lawsuit should be thrown out because the sanctions have nothing to do with the Paterno family. Furthermore, the sanctions have been a "resounding success" and have helped the university regain its reputation, it said.
"Plaintiffs do not like this success story because it relies on the history that actually happened, as opposed to the history that they wish happened," the attorneys wrote.
The family's attorney, Wick Sollers, said the latest filing "is an obvious attempt to delay the litigation and obscure the facts."
"We have confidence the full record will expose the NCAA's unauthorized, unlawful, and indefensible actions," Sollers said.