I understand why Jay Paterno and Bill Kenney are upset. The fact is they probably are unfairly tainted by what went on at Penn State and I’m not sure their reputations can ever recover from that. The general public was horrified by what came out about Jerry Sandusky and the possibility of a cover up by people running the school and the football program, and whether they had any knowledge of the situation or not, that stink stays with you when you’re in the middle of it.
That said, however, I think their lawsuit against Penn State is a long shot at best.
At the end of the day, whether Penn State kept them on or not, they were going to have that stink on them to one degree or another. The damage done to their reputation wasn’t done when they got replaced by the new head coach. Heck, new head coaches come in and replace guys who worked for the previous coach all the time, just because they want their own people in there. The damage was done simply by being there when all of this went down. Penn State getting rid of them didn’t do them any favors in that department, but they are going to be hard pressed to prove that was why they got fired, and not just because Bill O’Brien wanted someone else, or that the firing specifically caused them any damage that wasn’t already done.
I guess they are just collateral damage from a very public, messy situation at this point, until someone gives them a chance.