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Suit to challenge NCAA sanctions against Penn State

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., May 31 (UPI) — The family of late Penn State coach Joe Paterno is challenging NCAA sanctions against the university they say were imposed through “coercion and threats.”

The sanctions, which include a $60 million fine and a four-year bowl ban, were imposed in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

The lawsuit was announced on NBC Sports Network’s “Costas Tonight” by Paterno family attorney Wick Sollers, former U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and Paterno family spokesman Dan McGinn, the Centre Daily Times reported Thursday.

Charges against the NCAA include breach of contract, civil conspiracy, defamation and commercial disparagement.

Sollers said the NCAA consent decree against Penn State “was imposed through coercion and threats behind the scenes and there was no ability for anyone to get redress. There was no board approval, there was no transparency and there was no consideration of this consent decree.”

McGinn said the suit was an attempt to “get the record straight.”

Named in the suit are five Penn State trustees, four faculty members, nine former players and two former coaches.

Penn State is not a party to the suit, university spokesman Dave LaTorre said in an email.

The NCAA declined comment.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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