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FILE PHOTO: Former Penn State football head coach Joe Paterno enters the field prior to a Nittany Lions 16-10 victory over Indiana. 

HBO’s new film “Paterno” opened this weekend to mixed reviews. Among those giving it a thumb’s down are nearly 300 Penn State football lettermen.

In a statement released Monday, the lettermen are highly critical of the film, calling it “reckless” and an “uninformed depiction of Joe”.

Among the former players who signed the statement are legends like Franco Harris, Ki-Jana Carter and Tim Shaw. Signatures span back from the Class of 1961 all the way to 2010.

Shortly before the film premiered Saturday night, the Paterno family released a statement calling the events in the movie “a fictional portrayal of the tragic events”.

Below is a copy of the statement from the lettermen:

“As Penn State Lettermen, there was never a question that one day we would see a movie made about Joe Paterno, one that showcased his impact on the game of football, on Penn State University and, on the thousands of men he coached and mentored over his 61-year career.

Sadly — and wrongly — HBO’s ‘Paterno’ is not that movie.

It has been described by producer Barry Levinson as a work of fiction, which is likely the only truth in the entire project. Incredibly, in making the movie, Levinson and his team never consulted a single person who was close to, worked with, or was coached by Joe Paterno. Not even family members or us, who undoubtedly knew him best of all.

As a result, this uninformed depiction of Joe fails in every manner about the man we knew and loved. Deviously using ‘fiction’ as his shield, Levinson takes shameless liberties about the Sandusky scandal and Joe’s knowledge of it that would certainly be proven libelous if Joe were alive today.

As a coach, educator and philanthropist, Joe Paterno was a positive force in our lives, molding us not only to win games, but to win in life. His character, integrity, and moral compass will live on in us long after the ill-gotten ratings of this reckless attempt at entertainment fades away.”

Here are all of the players that signed the petition:

Ronald Adams ’65, Frank Ahrenhold ’72, Tyler Ahrenhold ’11, Ray Alberigi ’57, Russell Albert ’70, Dave Alexander ’61, Jesse Alfreno ’10, Kurt Allerman ’77, Dick Anderson, Player / Coach, ’63, John Andress ’77, Kenny Andrews ’73, Mike Archie ’96, Mark Arcidiacono ’13, Michael Arnold ’83, Drew Astorino ’11, Ferris Atty ’71, Bruce Bannon ’73, Michael Barninger ’95, Jack Baronas ’75, Bob Bassett ’79, Bob Belus ’60, Lou Benfatti ’93, Jeff Bergstrom ’82, Tom Bill ’90, Dan Biondi ’83, Jason Bisson ’00, David Bland ’74, Jeff H. Bleamer ’75, Mike Blosser ’02, Mark Bonson ’88, Scott Bouslough ’84, , John Bove, Coach,- ’79+, Kirk Bowman ’84, Dr. Tom Bradley ’75, Tim Bronish ’86, John Bronson ’04, Booker Brooks, Coach,‘72+, Richard M Brown ’73, Brian Brozeski ’01, Dave Brzenchek ’90, Chuck Burkhart ’70, Jeff Butya ’81, Rick Campbell ’82, Bob Campbell 70, Gino Capone ’03, Rich Caravella ’76, Don Carlino Staff ’85, Joseph Carlozo ’74, Glenn Carson ’13, Ki-Jana Carter ’95, Rashard Casey ’01, Robert Ceh ’93, Alex Chiara ’64, Peter Cimino ’60, Craig Cirbus, Coach ’84-’95, Bruce Clark ’80, Dave Clark ’87, Anthony Cleary ’06, Brennan Coakley ’09, Ron Coder ’76, F. Len Consalvo ’72, Brett Conway ’97, Chuck Correal ’78, Tom Couch ’85, Troy Cromwell ’87, Bill Crummy ’70’s, Wayne Cunningham ’71, Peter Curkendall ’80’s, Andrew Dailey ’10, Rick D’Amico ’82, Scott Davis ’04, Steven Davis ’73, Gary W. Debes ’74, Steven Delich ’03, Alan Delmonaco ’69, Fred R. Demler ’76, Ken Deutsch ’74, Chris Devlin ’75, Joe Diange ’78, Tom F. Donchez ’74, Troy Drayton ’93, Michael Dunlay ’83, Thomas Durant ’87, Gary Eberle ’67, John Ebersole ’70, Emery Etter ’12, Ron Etter ’75, Eric Etze ’88, Morris Fansler ’73, Gerry Farkas ’62, Craig Fiedler ’89, Scott Fitzkee ’79, Matt Fornadel ’97, Derek Fox ’00, Tim Freeman ’80’s, Mike Fuhrman ’83, Paul Gabel ’73, Ed Gabriel ’67, Fran Ganter ’71, Tony Gebicki ’65, Doneal Gersh ’72, Reggie Givens ’94, Gene Gladys ’80, Scott Gob ’89, Greg Golanoski ’85, Tony Gordon ’78, James Graham ’60, Gary Gray ’72, Ryan Grube ’94, Mike Guman ’80, Nick Haden ’84, Eric Hamilton ’86, Lance Hamilton ’86, Shelly Hammonds ’93, Brian Hand ’80, Darien Hardy ’08, Franco Harris ’72, Bob Harrison ’62, Warren Hartenstine ’67, Greg Hay ’87, Stu Helgeson ’88, Jim Heller ’73, Mike Heller ’92, Ron Heller ’84, Scott Hettinger ’80, Ron Hileman ’70’s, Joseph Hines ’84, Bob Holuba ’71, Tim Horst ’69, Ron Hostetler ’77, Joshua Hull ’10, Leonard Humphries ’92, Neil Hutton ’77, John Ibex ’67, Jason Ingram ’97, Justin Ingram ’02, Joe Iorio ’03, Michael Irwin ’67, Joe Johns ’86, Bryant Johnson ’03, Pete Johnson ’70, Greg Jones ’80, Jim Kanuch ’06, Mark Kareha ’11, Keith Karpinski ’89, Ken Kelley ’82, Rodney Kinlaw ’07, Tim Kissell ’77, Robert Kline ’61, Douglas Klopacz ’10, Gary Klossner ’72, Ed Kmit ’66, Bob Knechtel ’72, Matt Knizner ’82, Bruce Kordic ‘72, Chuck Koval ’55, Matt Kranchick ’03, Chad Kroell ’99, John Kulka ’69, Christian Kuntz ’13, Justin Kurpeikis ’00, Rich Kuzy ’88, Michael Lagrossi ’90, Ron LaPointe ’79, Philip F. LaPorta ’75, John R. Lewchenko ’73, Chad Linnon ’98, Linc Lincoln Lippincott ’69, Jim Litterelle ’67, Mike Lucian ’08, Larry J. Ludwig ’74, Mike Lukac ’03, Kenneth Lupold Jr ’93, Kevin Lyden ’78, Daniel Maddigan ’60, Thomas Mairs ’65, Mike Malinoski ’93, Massimo Manca ’87, Russ Manney ’00, Mark J. Markovich ’74, Nick Marmo ’04, Christian Marrone ’97, Kenneth Martz ’80, Carmen Masciantonio ’80’s, Brian Masella ’75, J. D. Mason ’12, Rich Mauti ’77, Michael McBath ’68, Brian McCann ’82, Jay McCormick ’80, OJ McDuffie ’92, Tom McGrath ’68, Shawn McNamara ’83, Dave McNaughton ’66, Mike Meade ’82, Dr. Allen Meyer, Staff ’69, Rob Mikulski ’86, Jeremy Miller ’01, Joshua Mitchell ’01, Scott Mitchell ’74, Ed Monaghan ’89, Anthony Morelli ’08, Dan Morgan ’86, Robert Mrosko ’88, Thomas Mulraney ’60, Grego. Murphy ’75, Joe Navin ’79, John Nessel ’75, Richard Nichols ’75, Gregg Norton ’92, Thomas Odell ’76, Brian O’Neal ’93, Michael A. Orsini M.D. ’74, Chet Parlavecchio ’82, Michael Pawlikowski ’05, Woody Petchel, Jr. ’76, Gary Petercuskie ’78, Andrew Pitz ’09, Aoatoa Polamalu ’89, Ryan Primanti ’01, Ed Pryts ’82, John R. Quinn ’76, Carlos Quirch ’79, Dave Radakovich ’70, Scott Radecic ’84, Tom Rafferty ’76, Frederic Ragucci ’79, Terry Rakowski ’82, Joel Ramich ’71, Eric Ravotti ’94, Curt Reese ’05, J.R. Refice ’13, John M. Reihner ’75, Bill Rettig ’63, Kip Richeal, Staff ’83, James E. Rosecrans ’75, Patrick Rosenella ’05, Buddy Rowell ’55, Dwayne Rush ’87, Michael Russo ’88, George Salvaterra, Staff ’87-’12, Dr. Theodore Sam ’60, George SanFilippo ’71, Matt Schmitt ’02, Rich Schonewolf ’90, Steve Schreckengaust ’66, Bryan Scott ’02, James Scott ’55, James Scourtis ’91, Bob Scrabis ’59, Ted Sebastianelli ’69, Robert Seitz, Staff ’83, Gary Shaffer ’69, TIm Shaw ’06, Tom Sherman ’68, Tom L. Shoemaker ’73, Brandon Short ’99, Eric Shrive ’13, Earl Shumaker ’56, Tom Shuman ’75, Brian Silverling ’86, David Simon ’53, John Skorupan ’73, Steve Smear ’70, Dave Smith ’94, Neal Smith ’70, Rob Smith ’86, Sam Sobczak ’61, Charles Sowers ’55, Pete Speros ’83, William Spoor ’92, Brian Stairs, Staff ‘ 95, Andrew Stewart ’99, Jonathan Stewart ’10, Geoffrey Stryker ’01, Thomas Stuart ’61, John P. Susko ’73, Tim Sweeney ’89, Dr. Raymond Tesner ’75, Brian Tupa ’95, Michael Urquhart ’81, Tyler Valoczki ’02, Kip Vernaglia ’80, Marshall Wagner ’71, Dan Wallace ’75, Tim Ward ’06, Darryl Washington ’88, Eric Wayne ’91, John Williams ’73, Justin Williams ’95, Leo Wisniewski ’82, Steve Wisniewski ’89, John Wojtowicz ’81, Steve Wolfe ’65, Nicholas Yocum ’07, Glenn Zumbach ’80.

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Thomas Schlarp is a senior studying Print and Digital Journalism with a business minor. Transferred from Georgetown University to pursue the dream of working long nights for low pay in the press box.