HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former Penn State assistant football coach who was a key witness in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case is disputing the university’s assertion that he was fired as part of a routine changing of the guard under a new head football coach.
Former assistant coach Mike McQueary has filed a whistleblower and defamation lawsuit against Penn State alleging that statements made in 2011 by then-university president Graham Spanier after charges were filed in the Sandusky case made McQueary look untruthful.
The university tried unsuccessfully last month to have the lawsuit thrown out, but a judge ruled that the allegations of “outrageous conduct” on the part of the school are sufficient to keep it alive.
The university has always maintained that new head coach Bill O’Brien simply didn’t rehire McQueary after his contract expired at the end of June 2012 and it was no different from the turnover of scores of college assistants every year, The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported.
But a response by McQueary filed Friday in Centre County court said he had been employed since 2004 “with no specified ending date,” and even if the contract ended last year, “strict proof” is required of when the decision to terminate him was made.