Joe Paterno’s estate drops lawsuit against NCAA

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STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 09: Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno watches his team during practice on November 9, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The estate of the late Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno filed a motion Friday to drop its civil suit against the NCAA over claims that the ruling body of college sports damaged the legendary coach’s family when it sanctioned Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

The Paternos had alleged the NCAA should not have relied on Penn State’s internal investigation, which concluded that Paterno and other administrators mishandled allegations made against Sandusky, a former assistant coach who was imprisoned for molesting 10 boys.

In a one-line motion, the estate asks that the matter be “discontinued as prejudice,” meaning the lawsuit can’t be refiled.

The NCAA said in a statement that it did not settle and that the case was dismissed voluntarily by the Paterno estate.

“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.”

Much of the evidence in the case had been filed under seal or protective order. Three administrators who were charged after Paterno died were recently convicted and sentenced to jail time for endangering the welfare of a child.

Paterno died in 2012, a few months after he was fired by Penn State. The family sued the NCAA in 2013 asking for a court to overturn some NCAA sanctions and compensate the family financially for damages.

In 2015, the NCAA restored 111 wins to Paterno’s record as a part of a settlement with the school. The move put Paterno back atop the list of victories by major college coaches.