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Paterno family lawsuit goes to judge

The NCAA has sought dismissal of a lawsuit from the family of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

By Gabrielle Levy
Paterno family lawsuit goes to judge
Joe Paterno, the former Penn State head football coach of 46 years, died on January 22, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. He was 85. His legacy as the winningest coach in college football was tarnished by his inaction in a sex abuse scandal leading to his dismissal in November, 2011. He is shown in 2006 file photo in South Bend, Indiana. UPI/Mark Cowan | License Photo

(UPI) -- A lawsuit brought by the family of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno will go before a judge Tuesday, contending the NCAA had no right to punish the school based on Jerry Sandusky's criminal activities.

The NCAA, which vacated Paterno's wins from 1998 to 2011, restricted the football program's recruiting abilities and barred the school from competing in bowl games, has contended the lawsuit should be thrown out.

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Penn State also announced Monday it had settled with the 26 victims of former assistant coach Sandusky, who was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse of young boys, paying out nearly $60 million.

The NCAA has said Paterno's family has sought to place blame on the organization for his legacy being tarnished by the crimes of his assistant.

"Plaintiffs resort to tortured interpretations of the NCAA bylaws and the case law in an effort to obscure two inescapable facts: they are the wrong plaintiffs and have sued the wrong defendants," the NCAA said, in a September court filing asking for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

Judge John Leete in August set the hearing Tuesday to determine whether to move forward with the lawsuit.

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