McQueary case vs. Penn State to move forward

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McQueary case vs. Penn State to move forward

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A whistleblower and defamation lawsuit against Penn State will go forward, a judge ruled Tuesday, denying the university's request to have it dismissed.

Former assistant football coach Mike McQueary sued the school in October, claiming he was portrayed as untruthful in statements made in 2011 by the university's president after Jerry Sandusky's arrest.

Judge Thomas Gavin said McQueary's lawsuit makes sufficient claims of "outrageous conduct" on the part of the school to keep the case alive. He gave the school 20 days to respond to the lawsuit filed in October.

Penn State spokesman Dave La Torre declined to comment, and McQueary's lawyer Elliot Strokoff did not return a phone message seeking comment.

McQueary was a graduate assistant in February 2001 when he encountered Sandusky showering with a boy in a team locker room, complained about it to then-head coach Joe Paterno and then met with the two administrators about it.

Sandusky was first charged with child sexual abuse in November 2011. At the same time, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz, administrators who worked under then-president Graham Spanier, were accused of perjury and failure to properly report suspected abuse.

McQueary testified against Sandusky in June during the criminal trial that ended with a 45-count guilty verdict against the former defensive coordinator. McQueary has lost his coaching job at the school.

McQueary's lawsuit involves a news release that Spanier issued in support of Curley and Schultz. Spanier gave the two his unconditional support and said he was confident the record would show the charges were groundless.

If the perjury charges against Curley and Schultz were groundless, Gavin wrote, "one cannot help but deduce that McQueary's contradictory testimony is untruthful."

The judge said McQueary asserts the university "treated him like a leper to be quarantined outside of State College" in the aftermath of the arrests of Sandusky, Schultz and Curley, isolating him from longstanding friends and colleagues.

Additional charges were added last year against Curley and Schultz, and Spanier was also charged in the alleged cover-up of Sandusky complaints. A week ago, a judge ruled against their efforts to have the charges thrown out, and the next step could be a preliminary hearing or appeals. All three men deny the criminal allegations against them.

Curley is on leave to complete the last year of his contract as athletic director. Spanier, forced out as president shortly after he issued the news release in support of Curley and Schultz, remains a tenured faculty member and is on paid leave. Schultz has retired.

Sandusky, 69, is appealing his case while serving a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence.

Temple PG Josh Brown suffers Achilles injury; surgery set for Wednesday

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Temple PG Josh Brown suffers Achilles injury; surgery set for Wednesday

The start of college basketball season is months away, but head coach Fran Dunphy's Temple team may have already suffered a huge blow.

Senior point guard Josh Brown suffered a left Achilles tendon injury last week and will undergo surgery on Wednesday. The timetable for Brown's recovery is unknown at this time.

OwlScoop.com first reported the news.

Last year's leading scorer and floor general Quenton DeCosey and big man Jaylen Bond have both graduated, so Brown was expected to take on much more of a leadership role on an evolving Owls team this coming season. Brown and guard/forward Daniel Dingle are the only seniors who were expected to steadily see significant playing time next season. Junior forward Obi Enechionyia is the only other veteran who would fit that category.

But now those plans could be out the window with Brown's sudden injury.

The injury to Brown also could potentially leave Temple without its two most dangerous guards for a significant period of time as sophomore Trey Lowe is still recovering from injuries suffered in a single-car accident in New Jersey in March. There is still no indication as to when Lowe could be ready to return to the court.

The potential absences of Brown and Lowe could lead to more significant roles for sophomore Shawn Alston, Jr. (2.3 points per game in 10.8 minutes of action a night last season) and incoming freshman and three-star recruit Alani Moore.

Brown, a 6-foot-3 Newark, New Jersey native, played in all 33 games for the Owls last season and averaged 8.3 points, 4.9 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game in 36.2 minutes per night, the highest average playing time of any player in the American Athletic Conference. His 3.50 assist-to-turnover ratio was best in the AAC and tied for eighth in the entire country.

Brown's signature moment last season came when he hit a game-winning floater in the dying seconds that enabled Temple to pull off an upset at No. 23 Connecticut in January. He also led the Owls with 16 points in their heartbreaking overtime loss to Iowa in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

News groups seek to unseal records in Penn State's Jerry Sandusky case

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AP

News groups seek to unseal records in Penn State's Jerry Sandusky case

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Two news organizations asked a Pennsylvania judge on Tuesday to unseal records in the pending criminal case against three former Penn State administrators over their handling of complaints about Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted of child sexual abuse.

The Associated Press and The Legal Intelligencer on Tuesday asked Dauphin County Judge Richard Lewis to make public filings in the case against the university's former President Graham Spanier, former Vice President Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley.

The motion says dozens of unidentified documents have been sealed in violation of the public's right to access information from the courts. The docket lists dozens of "sealed entries" and provides no information about their contents.

"Although certain grand jury material is, under normal circumstances, properly maintained under seal, if information is in the `public realm' or does not `implicate the secrecy of the grand jury,' it should not be sealed, as the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has instructed," wrote Gayle Sproul, lawyer for the AP and ALM Media LLC, publisher of the country's oldest daily legal newspaper.

She said the volume of sealed documents suggests they "sweep far beyond the narrow category of protected `matters occurring before the grand jury.'"

Schultz's lawyer declined comment, while messages weren't immediately returned by lawyers representing Curley and Spanier. A spokesman said the attorney general's office has "some reservations about the mass release" of information from the case.

The three men await trial on charges of failure to report suspected abuse and child endangerment. Curley and Schultz were first charged at the same time as Sandusky in November 2011; charges against Spanier were added a year later.

Superior Court earlier this year threw out many of the more serious charges against the men, based on a determination that the role played during grand jury proceedings by Penn State's then-general counsel, Cynthia Baldwin, violated attorney-client privilege. The Superior Court file also is sealed.

Sandusky continues to pursue appeals after being convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. He spent decades as the defensive coach under Joe Paterno before his retirement in 1999.

Judge grants time for victim claims in Paterno-NCAA lawsuit

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Judge grants time for victim claims in Paterno-NCAA lawsuit

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Lawyers for Joe Paterno's relatives and the NCAA can have more time to look into newly disclosed allegations about claims of abuse against the late Penn State football coach's former assistant Jerry Sandusky, a judge said Monday.

Judge John Leete is presiding over a lawsuit by the Paterno family against the NCAA. He gave the parties 45 days to explore claims that a boy told Paterno in 1976 he was molested by Sandusky, and that two coaches witnessed Sandusky abusing children in the late 1980s. The information was made public this month when a Philadelphia judge ruled in a lawsuit by Penn State over insurance coverage for Sandusky-related claims.

Penn State's lawyers "will, as appropriate, approach victims in the Sandusky matter to ascertain their willingness to take part in voluntary discovery," Leete wrote after a Monday conference in the case. "The court will take all necessary steps to protect the confidentiality and anonymity of any such persons."

Paterno's relatives have rebutted the 1976 accusation, and an attorney for some Sandusky victims has said it is not irrefutably supported. Also, prosecutors have called the 1980s claims unreliable.

The claims were briefly described in a May 4 order by Philadelphia Judge Gary Glazer, but there were few details. The Associated Press and three other news organizations filed a request last week seeking to unseal related court records.

The Paternos say the NCAA's use of a Penn State-commissioned report damaged their commercial interests. Two former Penn State coaches, Jay Paterno and Bill Kenney, are also suing the NCAA, saying the report made it impossible for them to find comparable jobs.

Leete's order said he may adjust a timetable he laid out in March that established deadlines in the case through mid-October.

Messages seeking comment from lawyers for the NCAA and the Paterno family were not immediately returned.

Paterno died in 2012, two months after state prosecutors first charged Sandusky with child molestation.

Sandusky was convicted later that year of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and is serving a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence. He has maintained his innocence. A hearing in his ongoing appeals is scheduled for Friday at the courthouse near State College.