HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A former doctor for the Penn State University football team claims he was fired after reporting that head coach James Franklin was pressuring him to medically clear injured players.
Dr. Scott A. Lynch was removed as the football team’s orthopedic surgeon and the university’s director of athletic medicine in March, according to a lawsuit Lynch filed against the university in Dauphin County Court.
The lawsuit also names Franklin as a defendant. Lynch says Franklin repeatedly attempted to interfere with his authority to determine medical management and return-to-play decisions.
He says he reported Franklin’s wrongdoing to Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour, senior associate athletic director Charmelle Green, athletic integrity officer Robert Boland, and Dr. Kevin Black, the chair of orthopedics and rehabilitation for Penn State Health.
In January, Lynch says Barbour and Green demanded that Black relieve Lynch from his assignment.
Lynch is seeking at least $50,000 in damages. The lawsuit also names Barbour, Green, Black, Boland, Penn State Health, and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
In a statement, Penn State Health rejected Lynch’s claims.
“In February 2019, Penn State Health administrators decided to change leadership for athletic medicine and the delivery of care for Intercollegiate Athletics,” the statement reads. “This transition was completed with the best interests of student-athletes in mind, given the increasing complexity and growing demands of sports medicine, as well as health care in general.”
“While we reject Dr. Lynch’s claims and will vigorously defend our program and its representatives, we remain grateful to him for his five years as director of athletic medicine for Intercollegiate Athletics and for his continued association with Penn State Health.”