Two more coaches are suing Penn State.
Galen Hall and Dick Anderson filed a lawsuit in Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday, alleging the university violated Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law.
Hall and Anderson were members of longtime Nittany Lions football coach Joe Paterno’s staff. According to court documents, Anderson served under Paterno for 34 years and Hall for eight. All of that came to an end after Paterno was dismissed amid the uproar of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal in 2011. Paterno died of cancer in January 2012 and Bill O’Brien took over the program, replacing most of the coaching staff.
Anderson and Hall claim in their suit that Penn State’s practice under Paterno’s tenure was to pay a member of the football staff through June 30 of the year they were released for a coaching change, starting any severance package thereafter. In their filing, they say Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics human resource manager Erikka Runkle met with the released coaches and confirmed that they would be paid regular salary through the end of the academic year in June 2012, with 18 months of severance to start on July 1, 2012.
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The plaintiffs claim the first time they realized that would not happen was when their payments stopped in July 2013, six months earlier than they believed they would be discontinued.
In addition to the WPCL violation, the two coaches are also charging the university with breach of contract. They are asking for damages in excess of $250,000 as compensation for the six months of pay they say they were denied.
The allegations mirror claims from former assistant coaches Bill Kenney and Jay Paterno, who have filed a federal lawsuit. Kenney and Paterno also say that their severance timeline was started early.