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City of Grambling asks NCAA to vacate some of Joe Paterno's wins

July 19, 2012|By Austin Knoblauch
  • The city of Grambling, La., is hoping the NCAA will vacate some of former Penn State coach Joe Paterno's wins.
The city of Grambling, La., is hoping the NCAA will vacate some of former… (Carolyn Kaster / Associated…)

The folks in Grambling, La., weren't celebrating the day Joe Paterno became the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history.

Paterno surpassed longtime Grambling State University coach Eddie Robinson on the all-time wins list less than two weeks before being fired amid the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.

Now the city of Grambling is fighting to have Robinson's record restored.

City attorney Pamela Breedlove has filed a request to the NCAA infractions committee asking it to vacate some of Joe Paterno's 409 victories. Robinson, who died in 2007, had 408 career wins in 56 seasons with Grambling, which plays in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA).

The three-page request comes a week after the release of an internal investigation report by former FBI director Louis Freeh, who concluded Paterno and Penn State officials did not report accusations made against Sandusky in an effort to protect the school's public image.

Breedlove did not ask for a specific number of victories to be vacated, but stressed that Robinson's character should be considered in the decision.

“We just believe that you would want to associate the record with someone who had the character of coach [Eddie] Robinson,” Breedlove said. “Especially now that we've come to realize how bad things really were [at Penn State].”

An NCAA spokesman confirmed the organization received the letter, but wouldn't say whether the infractions committee would consider the request. The NCAA is planning to conduct its own Penn State investigation.

Grambling State University President Frank G. Pogue did not dismiss nor support the city's request, calling the issue "an NCAA matter" in a statement.

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