Joe Paterno and Penn State administration restructured Paterno’s contract in January 2011 after learning former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was being investigated for child sex abuse, the New York Times reported Saturday.
The late head coach Paterno’s contract was to originally end after this upcoming season, but former Penn State 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 to 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. Paterno and Spanier were removed from their positions on Nov. 9, 2011, for demonstrating a lack of leadership in the face of charges filed against Sandusky.
Attempts made by some trustees to void Paterno’s buy-out were swiftly dismissed in light of 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 on Jan. 22 from complications caused by lung cancer. The release of a report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh on Thursday concluded an active concealment by Paterno, Spanier, former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Senior Interim Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz of Sandusky’s sexual crimes.