4 Paternos to collect $13.4 million pension
Joe Paterno earned a $13.4 million state pension for his 61 years of coaching at Penn State University -- although he never got to collect a penny of it.
Family spokesman Dan McGinn issued a statement on Tuesday saying that Paterno's widow, Sue, will receive $10.1 million from the State Employees Retirement System this month, with the remainder to be paid out over two years.
McGinn said the Paterno family plans to donate $1.5 million to the university and community charities, bringing their total contributions to about $9 million.
Paterno, who died in January at 85, coached football at Penn State for six decades before school trustees ousted him in November, days after prosecutors filed multiple child sex-abuse charges against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. A week before his ouster, Paterno got his 409th win, making him the winningest coach in Division I college football.
The pension payout is in addition to a final contractual $5.5 million payout from Penn State that included a $3 million career bonus.
Although Paterno brought Penn State two national championships, his final compensation package of $1.02 million was significantly less than the multimillion dollar pay packages other Division I coaches have collected in recent years.
Anthony Lubrano of Chester County, a Paterno supporter who recently was elected to Penn State's board of trustees, said the pension payout seems like a lot of money "but it's a pittance compared to what the Paternos have given to all of us."
"He could have left Penn State a long time ago for a lot more money. That money, I think, will end up going to many causes. They just give back and continue to give back."
Others echoed that sentiment.
"I think he built that school. He deserves every cent his family gets. He was one of the best coaches that ever lived," said John Moyher, 61, a retired Air Force master sergeant from Derry Township who is a Paterno fan.
Even the most ardent critics of what they see as an out-of-control pension system were hesitant to criticize Paterno's payout.
"The problem is not Joe Paterno or his desire to provide for his family. At issue is an unsustainable pension system that will harm our children and create intergenerational warfare," said Eric Epstein of Rock the Capital, a Harrisburg state government watchdog group.
"Joe Paterno was a state treasure and integrity brand who contributed to his retirement like any average Joe. I suspect he would view the amount of his pension payout with surprise and donate a portion to charity. Joe was an educator and a straight shooter. I'm sure he would ... use (the payout) as a platform to reform the system."
McGinn said the Paterno family's latest donation will include $500,000 to the Catholic center on campus. The remaining $1 million is pledged to the Paterno Foundation, which is selling a DVD of the Jan. 26 memorial service for Paterno. The family has said proceeds from the sale will go to Special Olympics, a cause championed by Sue Paterno.
The foundation will also donate to other charities.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Spence’s future uncertain after reinjuring knee
- Kentucky firefighters recovering from ice stunt shocks
- Lopsided loss to Eagles shows Steelers have issues aplenty
- Gorman: McNeilly Road rivalry renewed
- HSFB preview by position: Familiar faces coaching in new places
- Rossi: Time with Penguins taught Bylsma importance of stability
- Woman shot dead, mother wounded in Hill District shooting
- Pirates notebook: Prospect Sanchez makes 1st start at first base with Indy
- Altered fireworks, chickens found in Interstate 79 crash in West Virginia
- Keisel always hoped to return to Steelers
- Daily Courier roundup: Laurel Highlands golf team knocks off Connellsville