Two former Penn State assistant football coaches sue in connection with Joe Paterno firing

Visitors gather around the statue of former Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium July 21, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images) Image by Getty Images

Two former Penn State assistant football coaches sue in connection with Joe Paterno firing

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Jul 23, 2014

Two former Penn State assistant football coaches are seeking $1 million in damages from the university after late head coach Joe Paterno's firing in 2011. The plaintiffs include Paterno's son, Jay Paterno.

The federal lawsuit states, "Penn State reacted in mid-January 2012 with rashness and without basis by prematurely releasing from Penn State's employment the majority of the Penn State football coaching staff, including the employment of [Jay] Paterno and [Bill] Kenney," reports CNN.

The suit claims the plaintiffs were unfairly linked to the child molestation scandal surrounding assistant Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, which eventually led to the firing of Sandusky’s boss, Joe Paterno.

After Joe Paterno's release, the incoming head coach Bill O'Brien fired Paterno and Kenney from his own staff.

According to CNN, "Since their dismissal in January 2012, the lawsuit claims, Jay Paterno and Kenney 'have been denied lucrative employment opportunities based upon the false light and association by innuendo.'"

The $1 million being sought in damages includes "humiliation" and "loss of their ability to provide for themselves," reads the complaint.

"They also want Penn State 'to issue a public statement confirming that neither of plaintiffs committed any wrongdoing or impropriety of any kind in connection with the crimes and misconduct of Sandusky, and/or Penn State's handling of Sandusky's crimes and misconduct in any way, shape or form," further reports CNN.

The university, however, has said in a statement that it's common practice for new coaches to select their own coaching staff.

Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Philadelphia-bred journalist Julianne Cassidy relocated to be a Nashville-based digital editor for Scripps Media, Inc.