Sports

Report: Paterno contract deal reached amid scandal

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Veteran Penn State football coach Joe Paterno began talks that resulted in a sweetened retirement contract in the same month that he testified before a grand jury in the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse case, and all members of the board of trustees weren’t informed of the new package before the scandal engulfed the university, according to a published report.

Paterno and the university reached agreement on the amended contract that eventually totaled $5.5 million in August, months before charges were filed against Sandusky, but they began negotiating in January, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The amended contract, which was reported on by The Associated Press in April, included a $3 million career bonus if Paterno retired at the end of the 2011 season, as well as forgiveness of $250,000 in outstanding indebtedness and an additional $100,000 in loans.

The package also included access to a stadium box for his family for 25 years as well as parking privileges and access to on-campus hydrotherapy equipment for his wife.

The newspaper cited university records in saying Paterno first broached the idea of revisiting his contact in January, the same month he made a brief appearance before the grand jury, and some top university officials had also testified before the panel before the agreement was reached in August.

But the paper, citing “people with knowledge of the events,” said details of the agreement were known to a handful of board members but not shared with the full board, which only learned about the lucrative contract when Sandusky was arrested in November and two university officials were charged.

Paterno then publicly announced he would retire at the end of the season in a statement that also told school trustees to focus their attention on other matters.

Trustees, who agreed Paterno had not done enough to stop the abuse, fired him later that same day. Paterno died of lung cancer in January at age 85. Sandusky is awaiting sentencing after being convicted of 45 counts of molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period.

Paterno family attorney Wick Sollers told the Times on Friday that it was Penn State that proposed the lucrative retirement package, and that many elements such as the luxury box and use by Paterno of a private aircraft had existed in previous contracts.



Click here to comment on this story »




Saving for the future

sponsored According to two 2015 surveys, 62 percent of Americans do not have enough savings to handle an unexpected emergency, much less any long-term plans.



Sections


Profile

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile