Jul 15, 2012 06:58 AM EDT
Joe Paterno Reached $5.5 Million Retirement Deal Amid Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal
Penn State University's former football head coach Joe Paterno was involved in finalizing a lucrative deal the same month after he testified in front of a jury in connection with Jerry Sandusky's sex abuse scandal, reported the New York Times.
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According to the report, Penn state negotiated with Paterno last August and arrived at a final deal to pay $5.5 million to the football coach including other privileges such as using the university's private plane and the stadium box by Paterno and his family for the next 25 years, forgiving the interest-free $350,000 loans received from the university and using the hydrotherapy massage equipment for Paterno's wife as part of his retirement package.
Sandusky was arrested in 2011 for abusing 10 boys over a period of 15 years. He is convicted on 45 of the 48 counts by a jury and is awaiting sentencing in the case.
The university's board of trustees has announced that the agreement made with Paterno will stand and there wouldn't be any changes to the deal during a trustee meeting held in Scranton, Pennsylvania. "Contracts are contracts," CNN quoted Board of Trustees Chair, Karen Peetz, as saying during the meeting. "And no there's no plan to (change) that."
The news comes just a day after the Freeh report blamed the Penn State University's top officials including Paterno for their failure to inquire into sexual abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky.
Former director of FBI Louis Freeh was hired by the university's board of officials to probe what the university officials knew about the child sex abuse case. In his report, Freeh stated that the university's top officials including President Graham Spanier, former senior vice president of finance and business Gary Schultz, athletic director Tim Curley and football head coach Joe Paterno repeatedly concealed facts from authorities about Sandusky's activities and failed to protect the child victims because of fear of "bad publicity".
But the Freeh report on Paterno was promptly denied by his family. In a statement, the family stated that Paterno would knowingly never cover up such child abuse incidents. Paterno died in January this year following complications from lung cancer.