July 11, 2013
Nearly Two Hundred More Penn State Student-Athletes Sign In Support of Lawsuit Versus The NCAA
List of Supporters Adds Student-Athletes from 17 Sports;
Including 37 All-Americans from 7 Sports
Overall List Eclipses the 500 Mark
On June 17th a large number of Penn State football student-athletes voiced their support of a lawsuit brought against the NCAA by former Penn State student-athletes, coaches as well as current faculty and Trustees. Since the initial announcement our list of supporters continues to grow.
Denied use of the University’s database for alumni student-athletes, our group was still able to enlist the support of nearly two hundred additional Penn State Student-Athletes and Coaches; bringing together a total of over 500 student-athletes representing 17 sports spanning 7 decades to defend Penn State against the unjustified NCAA sanctions.
Among new football student-athletes adding their support are 1973 Heisman Trophy Winner John Cappelletti, All-Americans Ed O’Neil (1973), Charlie Getty (1973), D.J. Dozier (1986), Ki-Jana Carter (1994) and Michael Mauti (2012).
Michael Mauti, a criminal justice graduate wrote, “I signed on because I have faith in justice and due process. I spent the last year fighting for it in the media and I’ll continue to fight for it with the men who built the program we all love. We all want what’s best for our program.”
Wanting to add their voices, former Student-athletes and coaches from sixteen additional sports have joined our support of the lawsuit. Among them are 2-time National Champion and Olympic Wrestler Kerry McCoy, National Soccer Player of the Year Christine Welsh, long-time Penn State Coaches Bruce Parkhill (Men’s Basketball), Glen Thiel (Men’s Lacrosse), John Fritz (Wrestling) and newly elected Penn State Trustee Barbara Doran; a 3-sport athlete and 3-time Lacrosse All-American. Four-time All-American Wrestler Greg Elinsky heads a list of All-Americans from Wrestling (8), Field Hockey (10), Women’s Lacrosse (9), Men’s Volleyball (2), Women’s Soccer and Men’s Soccer. Also joining the group is the legendary voice of Penn State Fran Fisher.
Make no mistake; our group is sympathetic to and supportive of the victims of one man’s deeds. The actions of Penn Staters and Penn State students, in raising money and awareness for these issues, speak volumes. But we recognize this fact; the NCAA’s actions will not promote healing and will cause harm to current and future Student-Athletes through these punitive sanctions. Supporting the victims and supporting due process are not mutually exclusive goals.
The former student-athletes signing on in support posted this letter.
Recently, more than 300 football Lettermen proclaimed their support for the lawsuit against the NCAA sanctions levied on Penn State’s Football program on July 23, 2012. We, the undersigned, are former Penn State student-athletes and coaches from sports other than football, who join to support the legal action against the NCAA. When we represented Penn State on the field, the court, the ice, the mat, the ring, the pool, or the track we championed a common culture pursuing Success With Honor in the classroom and in athletic competition.
The hasty and unjust actions of The NCAA surely penalize current and future football student-athletes and staff. However, they also negatively impact all former, current and future Penn State student-athletes and coaches in every sport. That is why we support illuminating the truth and the fight for Penn State—reclaiming the exemplary culture hard won by sacrifices we all made to compete with honor.
As others have noted, Penn State is the only public institution participating in major college football that has never been sanctioned for major NCAA violations in any sport. To this day we support the fight for that truth because this fact remains; Penn State has not committed any major NCAA violations in any sport. That is a statement that we all paid for with our own sacrifices and commitment, and is worth fighting for.
Finally, as proud former Penn State student-athletes and coaches not associated with the football program, we firmly reject the idea that there was a culture of reverence for the football program that compromised the values of this proud institution’s academic mission.
We are here to bear witness because we lived it. All athletes thrived, partnering with the football program to create a culture of athletic and academic excellence that even the NCAA itself lauded as the benchmark for other universities to emulate. As the football Lettermen’s statement noted, all we want is due process and the truth to be heard, no matter what form that takes.
Student Athlete Support