The estate of Joe Paterno, the late Penn State football coach, has dropped the lawsuit against the NCAA that it filed over objections to a report that stemmed from the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.
Attorneys for the Paterno family filed a motion Friday in Centre County Court in Bellefonte seeking to discontinue the suit, which had been filed May 30, 2013. The NCAA told the Associated Press that there was no payment involved.
Other plaintiffs in the suit were Jay Paterno, son of the former coach, and former assistant coach William Kenney.
In a statement filed Friday through family spokesman Dan McGinn, Sue Paterno said the goal of her family in the court action "has always been to uncover and make transparent the full truth." That included exonerating her husband, who initially was stripped of 111 victories by the NCAA, part of sanctions handed down against the university in July 2012.
"We have done all we can in this litigation to achieve that end," she said, "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."
The NCAA released this statement: "The Paterno family characterized this case as a search for the truth," NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said. "Its decision today, after years of investigation and discovery, to abandon its lawsuit rather than subject those facts to courtroom examination is telling. 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."
The NCAA sanctions stemmed from a damning report issued by Freeh, the former FBI director, who found that Paterno, university president Graham B. Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and vice-president Gary Schultz were culpable in failing to act against Sandusky while trying to protect the lucrative football program.
Sandusky, who was on Paterno's staff for 32 years before retiring at the end of the 1999 season, was convicted in June 2012 of 45 counts of child sex abuse and is serving 30 to 60 years in prison.
Paterno was never charged in the case. He was fired Nov. 9, 2011, four days after Sandusky's arrest, and died of lung cancer a little more than two months later. Curley and Schultz pleaded guilty to one count of child endangerment last March, and Spanier went to trial and was convicted of the same offense. All received jail time.
Jay Paterno, who coached for 17 years under his father, and Kenney had claimed in the suit that the Freeh report prevented them from finding comparable coaching work. Jay Paterno has not coached since his father was fired, and was elected in May to the Penn State board of trustees. Kenney is entering his fourth year as an assistant coach at Western Michigan.
Sue Paterno said she thinks progress has been made since the release of the Freeh report, including the reversal of the NCAA sanctions and the restoration of all of Joe Paterno's victories.