In a move that could be seen as being overtly sympathetic, Penn State announced that it plans on giving the late Joe Paterno‘s estate and family millions of dollars worth of payments and benefits as part of his employment contract. So far, the school has given the family four checks, which totaled more than $3 million. These payments were for bonuses that Paterno would have gotten for his work during the season, bowl game, and his entire career. The school has also promised the family the use of a suite in Beaver Stadium for the next 25 years.
Sadly, the family’s lawyer says that they still have the right to sue the school. The lawyer, Wick Sollers, says that there hasn’t been any sort of settlement reached between the school and Paterno’s estate.
“However, there has been a straightforward payment of moneys indisputably owed to the Paterno estate,” he said. “The university had requested that the family agree to a full release in return for the payments under the contract. That request was declined and no release was signed.”
So it seems that Penn State was not trying to just be nice to the Paterno family. They were trying to reach a settlement and release so that they would not be sued.
Paterno had been the longtime football coach at Penn State, but he was fired last November after child molestation charges were filed against his assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky. Paterno had planned on retiring at the end of the season, but he was let go by the university trustees because they did not think he had been a good leader, under these circumstances. However, the school and trustees did decide to honor Paterno’s contract and act as if he had retired. In his contract, Paterno was promised a $3 million career bonus upon retirement, and this is the largest chunk of the payments that his family is now receiving.
Via The New York Times