PITTSBURGH -- Eight former Penn State University football players and one former assistant coach Tuesday announced their own appeal of the NCAA sanctions against the school, saying removal of football victories from 1998 to 2011 unfairly harmed those not involved in the campus child sex scandal.
The nine individuals, all involved in the program during those years, include Michael Robinson, former Penn State quarterback and now a fullback with the Seattle Seahawks, and William Kenney, the ex-coach.
A letter to the NCAA filed on their behalf says 375 individuals played or coached for Penn State between 1998 and last year. It says the NCAA vacated the wins as part of its sanctions, despite findings in a consent decree that no student athlete was responsible for events involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, convicted in June on 45 counts of child sexual abuse.
Vacating the wins "is unreasonable, excessive, unprecedented, and constitutes an indignity to the men who honorably fulfilled their responsibilities as student athletes and coaches at Penn State under Coach Joe Paterno during this period," states the letter written by their attorneys, a copy of which the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obtained.
The NCAA could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday's filing but previously has said the sanctions are not subject to appeal. David La Torre, Penn State spokesman, said the university had no comment.
Taking back the victories also effectively stripped Paterno, who died in January of lung cancer at age 85, of his status as the nation's winningest major college football coach. Mr. Paterno's survivors and estate as well as Ryan McCombie, a Penn State trustee, previously notified the NCAA that they, too, intend to file separate appeals.
The NCAA sanctions also included deep cuts in Penn State's football scholarships, a postseason bowl ban, and a $60 million fine.
The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bill Schackner is a reporter for the Post-Gazette.
Contact Bill Schackner at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1977.