A Pennsylvania judge said Penn State University must be part of the case in order for parts of a lawsuit against the NCAA by Joe Paterno's family and others to proceed.
The 25-page opinion issued Tuesday by Judge John Leete delivered a mixed decision by dismissing some elements, keeping alive others and leaving the door open for an amended lawsuit to be filed.
Leete said breach of contract claims can't continue without Penn State's participation.
The judge is throwing out a claim of interference with contractual relations but keeping in place commercial disparagement and civil conspiracy elements.
He's tossing parts of the defamation allegations, except as they apply to a trustee and former coaches who sued.
A lawyer for Paterno's family and others in the lawsuit called the judge's preliminary ruling a significant victory.
Paterno family attorney Wick Sollers said the ruling will let "the bright light of legal discovery" shine on the facts and records.
The NCAA said it's reviewing the decision.