Joe Paterno and Penn State administration restructured Paterno’s contract in January 2011 after learning Jerry Sandusky was being investigated for child sex abuse, the New York Times reported Saturday.
Paterno’s contract was to end originally after this upcoming season, but former President Graham Spanier agreed to buy out the contract one year early for $3 million. The university also forgave $350,000 of interest-free loans made to Paterno, in addition granting the Paterno family use of Penn State’s private plane and a luxury box at Beaver Stadium for the next 25 years.
The board of trustees was not aware of these negotiations until Sandusky was arrested in November, the New York Times reported. The board subsequently fired Paterno and Spanier on Nov. 9 for demonstrating a lack of leadership.
Attempts made by some trustees to void Paterno’s buy-out were swiftly dismissed in light of a overwhelming public support for Paterno and a potential defamation lawsuit by the Paterno family hanging over their heads.
Paterno was ultimately granted a retirement package valued over $5 million.
The longtime football coach died in January from complications caused by lung cancer. The release of the Freeh Report on Thursday concluded an active concealment by Paterno, Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and former vice-president for finance Gary Schultz of Sandusky’s sexual crimes.