Report: New deal for Paterno amid scandal

July 14, 2012 at 10:46 AM
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa., July 14 (UPI) -- The head of the Penn State University board of trustees said there would be no changes made to the late Joe Paterno's final contract as head football coach.

Chairwoman Karen Peetz told a news conference Friday "contracts are contracts" and they would not seek to renegotiate the pact that was negotiated in 2011 as the Jerry Sandusky child-molestation scandal peaked.

At the time, the ailing Paterno was under a contract that ran through 2012; however, he and the president of the university renegotiated the pact to include a $3 million golden parachute and plenty of perks for his family, including a luxury stadium box and access to a university jet.

The New York Times said Saturday the agreement was the subject of serious debate among the trustees over whether to honor the new deal. Some saw a dilemma between angering the public by tearing up the deal and humiliating the iconic Paterno, or rewarding him at a time he was being accused of ignoring Sandusky's actions.

Paterno was soon fired and died in January, but the school eventually paid off the family this spring, the Times said, although it did cancel the use of the plane and moved the Paterno clan to a lesser luxury box.

An attorney for the Paterno family told the Times the contract was not dramatically different from the coach's previous contracts and that it was the university's idea to renegotiate what would basically be his retirement package.

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