This doesn’t sound like a good thing for the NCAA.
A specially presiding senior judge has ordered the NCAA to turn over emails and other communications related to the repeal of Penn State’s sanctions as part of a defamation lawsuit filed by the estate of Joe Paterno.
At issue is whether the NCAA maliciously and unfairly tarnished Paterno’s name and harmed the plaintiffs, which include former assistant coaches Bill Kenney and Paterno’s son, Jay.
The lawsuit was filed in 2013 and seeks punitive damages. The defendants include the NCAA, president Mark Emmert and former executive committee chairman Ed Ray.
According to Judge John Leete’s order, which was filed Monday, the NCAA must turn over communications between board members and administrators and between itself and Penn State officials. Privileged communications are exempt, but the NCAA must provide a privilege log outlining what documents are withheld.
It may be a bullshit lawsuit, but they’re playing on JoePa’s home field, and that’s likely to yield some embarrassing disclosures.
None of this is to excuse what went on, or to say that the school didn’t deserve to be punished for enabling a serial child molester, but when Mark Emmert decided he didn’t need to follow any established guidelines in his pursuit of Penn State, it was pretty much a given that he’d get this kind of reaction. To mix metaphors, when you break a few eggs to make your omelet, don’t be surprised when some of the chickens come home to roost.