Sources close to the Paternos suggested the family was girding for a fight over Paterno’s severance ever since the receipt of a Nov. 16 letter from university general counsel Cynthia Baldwin asking Paterno to hand in his keys, school ID, car and parking permit. Baldwin’s letter made no reference to honoring Paterno’s contract’s terms.
The terms of Thursday’s payout include a $3 million “career bonus” to be paid upon Paterno’s retirement, the use of a Beaver Stadium suite by his family for 25 years, a $900,000 cut of television and radio revenue from the 2011 season, and about $500,000 in other bonuses and salary payments due from last season.
Curiously, the terms laid out by the university also detail forgiveness of two debts totaling $350,000. It was not clear from the document who in the Paterno estate owed that money, and Mahon could not elaborate Thursday other than to say the loans were extended at least 25 years ago.
All of this would be in addition to whatever compensation Paterno receives from his retirement pension, which the family has not filed for to date.
The announcement comes against a backdrop of perceived tension between the Paterno family, the coach’s legion of fans and leaders of the school.
During his 46 years as coach, Paterno led the Nittany Lions to 409 wins, two national championships and five perfect seasons, all the while cultivating a reputation for “winning with honor.” Paterno and his wife, Sue, were also prolific fundraisers for the school.
By some estimates, Paterno raised as much as $1 billion for the university, although it’s difficult to find an exact figure. He and Sue gave more than $4 million from their personal fortune for scholarships, endowed faculty positions and building projects, including $200,000 in the weeks after his firing.
That combined legacy is what made the coach’s sudden firing so jarring to so many, and not the least his family.
source: PennLive.com, Harrisburg Patriot News, Sara Ganim