Joe Paterno, longtime head football coach at Penn State, got a new contract worth about $5.5 million as the investigation into whether Jerry Sandusky had been sexually assaulting young boys got underway, The New York Times reports.
In January 2011, Paterno learned prosecutors were investigating Sandusky, his longtime assistant coach. Soon after, Paterno testified before a grand jury and news reports began to circulate about the sex abuse probe.
The New York Times reports:
That same month, Mr. Paterno, the football coach at Penn State, began negotiating with his superiors to amend his contract, with the timing something of a surprise because the contract was not set to expire until the end of 2012, according to university documents and people with knowledge of the discussions. By August, Mr. Paterno and the university's president, both of whom were by then embroiled in the Sandusky investigation, had reached an agreement.
Mr. Paterno was to be paid $3 million at the end of the 2011 season if he agreed it would be his last. Interest-free loans totaling $350,000 that the university had made to Mr. Paterno over the years would be forgiven as part of the retirement package. He would also have the use of the university's private plane and a luxury box at Beaver Stadium for him and his family to use over the next 25 years.
The university's full board of trustees was kept in the dark about the arrangement until November, when Mr. Sandusky was arrested and the contract arrangements, along with so much else at Penn State, were upended.
Sandusky was arrested in November 2011. Then Penn State vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Tim Curley were indicted on charges of failing to report to the authorities a 2001 allegation that Sandusky had attacked a young boy in the football building's showers.
The board fired Paterno but agreed to honor his contract. While some board members questioned whether the school should pay Paterno, support for Paterno and a threat of a lawsuit led the board to give the coach's family a package worth about $5.5 million, according to The New York Times.
They also promised Paterno's wife use of specialized hydrotherapy massage equipment at the university's Lasch Building, where Sandusky molested several of his victims, the paper reports.
At a news conference Friday, Karen B. Peetz, the board's chairwoman, said the issue would not be revisited. "Contracts are contracts," she said.
On June 22, Sandusky was convicted of abusing 10 boys over 15 years.