Paterno family drops lawsuit against NCAA over Freeh report

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Paterno family drops lawsuit against NCAA over Freeh report

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania -- Late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno's family dropped a lawsuit Friday against the NCAA over its use of a report in the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal to punish Paterno and the university.

Paterno's estate, his son Jay and former assistant William Kenney discontinued their case. The NCAA called it a voluntary decision and said there was no payment involved.

NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy claimed a total victory for his organization, which he said acted reasonably in adopting conclusions from a university-commissioned report authored by a team led by former FBI director Louis Freeh.

"The Paterno family characterized this case as a `search for the truth,'" 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."

He said the Paterno family wasted time, effort and money in the case.

In response to a text message from AP, Jay Paterno referred to a one-page statement released by his mother and Joe's widow, Sue Paterno. In it, she said the family had accomplished its goals and continuing litigation would not yield anything new.

"In the fallout from the Sandusky tragedy and the subsequent mishandling of the investigation by the board and Louis Freeh, I was determined to do everything in my power to defend the honor of Penn State and set the record straight on Joe," Sue Paterno said. "Although the fight has been long and difficult, enormous progress has been made. The unprecedented sanctions imposed on the University were reversed. The wins, which were unjustly stripped from the players, were reinstated. And even Mr. Freeh has stated under oath that his many alleged `findings' were, in fact, merely his opinions."

The lawsuit had claimed that college sports' governing body damaged the Paterno estate's commercial interests through its use of the Freeh report. Kenney and Jay Paterno alleged the Freeh report rendered them unable to find comparable coaching work.

The Freeh report concluded Joe Paterno and other administrators hushed up a 2001 complaint against Sandusky showering with a boy, for fear of bad publicity.

Paterno, who died in early 2012, was never charged criminally, but three others who were at high-ranking jobs when he was coach are expected to soon report to jail to serve criminal sentences for their response to the 2001 complaint.

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was convicted in March of misdemeanor child endangerment for his failure to report the complaint about Sandusky apparently sexually abusing a boy on campus. Former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz had earlier pleaded guilty to the same charge.

The judge who sentenced Curley, Schultz and Spanier did not spare Paterno, saying he could have called police "without so much as getting his hands dirty. Why he didn't is beyond me."

The three are expected to report to county prison July 15 to serve two or three months.

The Paterno family and his legion of supporters have long objected bitterly to the Freeh report's depiction of the hall of fame coach as having failed to do the right thing in 2001. Sandusky had been one of Joe Paterno's top assistants for decades before his 1999 retirement.

Paterno told a grand jury in 2011 he did not know of child molestation allegations against Sandusky before 2001. But an insurer has alleged, a judge noted in a court document last year, that a child told Paterno in 1976 that Sandusky had molested him, a claim Paterno's family has strongly denied.

Jay Paterno, a Nittany Lions assistant coach for 17 years, was elected by alumni in May to a seat on the Penn State board. He starts as a trustee next month.

The university removed a statue of Joe Paterno from outside the football stadium in the wake of the Sandusky scandal, and it has not been replaced.

The NCAA also took away 111 of Paterno's wins, but they have since been restored, and with it his status as major college football's winningest coach with 409 victories.

Sandusky was convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys. He maintains his innocence while serving a 30- to 60-year sentence, and is appealing.

Penn State adds to its bragging rights over Temple

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Penn State adds to its bragging rights over Temple


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Josh Reaves had his second career double-double, Shep Garner hit two 3-pointers in the final three minutes and Penn State overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to beat Temple 63-57 on Wednesday night in the first round of the NIT.

Reaves shot 7 of 10 from the field, including a career-high tying four 3-pointers, and finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Tony Carr missed 10 consecutive field-goal attempts before scoring his first points of the game on a jumper that pulled Penn State within four with 6:20 to play. That sparked a 16-2 run to give the Nittany Lions a 62-54 lead with 16 seconds left.

Reaves and Garner hit back-to-back 3s to make it 54-all before John Harrar's layup with 1:52 remaining gave Penn State its first lead since 4-3. The Owls made just 1 of 9 from the field and committed three turnovers during the span.

Shizz Alston Jr. led Temple (17-16), which led for more than 35 minutes, with 15 points and Josh Brown added 14.

Carr and Garner -- who came in averaging 19.9 and 11.1 points per game, respectively -- combined to score 10 on 3-of-19 shooting for the Nittany Lions (22-13).

The Owls made just 5 of 14 free throws while Penn State hit 20 of 30.

It was the 93rd meeting between the schools, which are located less than 200 miles apart, but the first since 2011. The Nittany Lions snapped a seven-game skid in the series, dating to Dec. 9, 2000.

Penn State's NCAA tournament hopes severely dented

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Penn State's NCAA tournament hopes severely dented


NEW YORK — Purdue threw a little of everything at Penn State star Tony Carr, the Big Ten's leading scorer. Bigger guys. Smaller ones. Switches and some double teams.

Carr managed only 12 points in a woeful shooting game, and No. 8 Purdue separated from Penn State in the second half of a 78-70 victory Saturday that put the Boilermakers in the Big Ten Tournament championship game for the second time in three seasons.

Third-seeded Purdue (28-5) faces No. 5 Michigan, which will try to repeat as tournament champs on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

Purdue frustrated Carr and held him to 4-of-18 shooting. The sophomore faced an array of defenders, including the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Nojel Eastern, 5-10 P.J. Thompson, 6-4 Dakota Mathias, 6-8 Vincent Edwards and 6-1 Carsen Edwards.

"When you have a good player like that it takes more than one guy because he's able to make shots and make plays over guys," Vincent Edwards said. "They just did a good job of taking up that space and being able to force him into tough shots."

Shep Garner led the Nittany Lions (21-12) with a career-high 33 points and the senior set a school record with 129 career points in the Big Ten Tournament.

The Boilermakers will be making their third appearance in the Big Ten championship since the tournament started in 1998. Their one championship came in 2009.

Against Penn State, Purdue used a 12-2 run the middle of the second half to build a 15-point lead. Carsen Edwards led the way, spinning through the lane for a driving layup and making a 3 from up top that made the score 59-44 with 9:15 left. He finished with 27 points and shot 6 of 9 from 3-point range after scoring 26 on Friday against Rutgers.

"It's a consistency," guard Dakota Mathias said of Edwards. "He's being very efficient, too."

Edwards made back-to-back 3s to make it 74-56 with 3:41 left and Purdue was on its way to play for a title.

Isaac Haas, the 7-2 center, added 17 points and seven rebounds for Purdue.

With Carr struggling, Penn State could not keep up. He picked up a third foul in the second half, a push off call that caused Penn State coach Pat Chambers to draw a technical.

"I think they were very physical," Chambers said. "Obviously that's why I felt like I needed to get T'd up, my first T in a long, long time."

Big Picture
Penn State: The Nittany Lions had a chance to work their way into the conversation for an NCAA at-large bid by beating Purdue, but now Penn State seems like a long shot at best. Chambers is still hopefully.

"Well, I'm an optimist," he said. "We have NCAA Tournament talent."

Purdue: The Boilermakers hit a rough patch losing three straight close games in early February to Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin, but an argument can be made that they have been the Big Ten's most consistent team this season.

"We had an opportunity to win the Big Ten regular season. We kind of gave that away," said Thompson, one of four senior starters. "But we still had a goal of winning a Big Ten championship on our list before the season started and we put ourselves in position to be able to do that tomorrow."

Purdue does most everything well, except rebound. A night after giving up 17 offensive boards to Rutgers, the Boilermakers allowed 16 rebounds to Penn State.

Shep Shooter
Garner went 4 for 5 from 3-point range, including a four-point play, to carry Penn State in the first half. The Nittany Lions led much of the way, but Edwards made a 3 for Purdue with 2 seconds left in the half to send the Boilermakers to the break ahead 33-31.

Up Next
Penn State: An NIT bid is likely coming the Nittany Lions way, though the big question beyond March is whether Carr returns for another season or heads to the NBA draft.

Purdue: The Boilermakers swept the Wolverines in two games decided by a combined five points.

"Just a really skilled offensive team," Carsen Edwards said. "They have a lot of options. For us it's going to come down to defense and getting stops."