BELLEFONTE, Pa. — An NCAA attorney denied that Penn State officials were under "extreme duress" to accept sanctions stemming from the Jerry Sandusky child-sex scandal.

That attorney, Everett Johnson, made the argument Monday in Centre County, where the family of former football coach Joe Paterno is challenging the sanctions, which included a temporary ban on postseason football, scholarship limits, a $60 million fine, and vacating more than 100 wins Paterno earned while the Sandusky abuses were occurring.

The judge didn't immediately rule whether the lawsuit can go forward.

The Paternos contend the school was forced to accept the sanctions or face the "death penalty" that could have ended the football program.

Johnson argued, "They might not play football on Saturday — that's not a gun to the head. At the end of the day, it's just a game."