Penn State Paid Paterno Estate $5.7M

Pay recognized 'decades-long' contribution, says official
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2012 2:29 AM CDT
Updated Apr 20, 2012 5:34 AM CDT
Penn State Paid Paterno Estate $5.7M
Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno poses in 1999 with defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, the man who cast a shadow on the end of Paterno's career.   (AP Photo/Paul Vathis, File)

(Newser) – Even though Penn State coach Joe Paterno was forced out of his job for his failure to help prevent suspected sex assaults by his assistant coach, his estate was paid $5.7 million by the university. The money covers contract and pension payments, including a $3 million retirement bonus that was part of a 2011 contract amendment, reports the Pennsylvania Centre Daily Times. That payment does not include a $1,000-a-month payment for life to Paterno's widow, Sue, nor an additional $900,000 in TV and radio revenue. The university board decided last year to honor the obligations, despite the cloud under which Paterno left.

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The contract, which was honored in full, "recognized coach Paterno’s decades-long contributions to our football program and to the entire university," said a Penn State spokesman. The money was "indisputably owed" to the estate, he added. Paterno died early this year of lung cancer just months after he was fired when the board determined he did not do enough to help alleged victims of Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky is currently battling charges that he molested 10 young boys, including eight on campus, and five in Penn State's football headquarters. (Read more Penn State sex abuse stories.)

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