Penn State is reiterating its request to a Centre County court to get some reconsideration in the civil case of a former coach.
Mike McQueary, the former assistant Nittany Lions football coach, won his whistleblower suit against the university in November 2016.
Less than two weeks ago, Chester County Senior Judge Thomas Gavin tacked another $1.7 million in legal fees on top of the $12.3 million judgment in the case. The jury initially gave McQueary $7.3 million; Gavin added another $5 million.
On Monday, Penn State attorneys filed a motion for post trial relief. It is not the first.
The university first filed the request in November after the jury award, but the attorneys said the judge’s decision on the attorney fees restarted the clock on when a final motion was due.
The new motion restates objections to the original verdict and award, saying McQueary’s counsel did not prove Penn State took any action against him because of his testimony regarding Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky, the one-time Nittany Lions defensive coordinator, was convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse crimes in 2012 after McQueary famously testified at both his trial and before the grand jury that recommended charges against him.
The testimony involved reporting to head coach Joe Paterno that Sandusky was observed in the showers with a young boy. McQueary was a graduate assistant when he made the report, which Paterno relayed to the other executives in charge at the time, a chain that lead to athletic director Tim Curley, vice president Gary Schultz and president Graham Spanier.
Paterno died in 2012. Curley and Schultz entered guilty pleas to misdemeanor child endangerment last month. Spanier was convicted of the same charge two weeks later.
“Over 10 years passed from when McQueary reported Sandusky’s conduct ... to when he was placed on administrative leave and his contract was eventually not renewed,” Penn State wrote.
McQueary was placed on leave in 2011 after Paterno was fired, a move the university said was due to “safety concerns for McQueary and others.” He was released along with the vast majority of the staff in 2012 after Bill O’Brien was brought in as the new head coach.
Penn State’s attorneys say the university is entitled to judgment in its favor, a reduction in the award amount, or a new trial. Among the reasons cited as an abuse of discretion by the court in not waiting until the conclusion of Culrey, Schultz and Spanier’s criminal cases.
They also moved to vacate the attorney fee award, substituting a figure of $202,619.50 instead of the additional $1.5 million.