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April 25, 2012


Joe Paterno’s family declines offer from Penn State

Even with the pending investigation over Sandusky, it is still uncertain what Joe Paterno's legacy is going to look like in the future. 

By Stephen Lars

At 85-years-old, Joe Paterno was still doing what he loved most. That alone, could resume a happy and successful life. At an age when most American men have already loss their appetite to keep on with the most tranquil of hobbies, Paterno was still working as the head coach of an NCAA Division I football team. A team to which he had been linked for the better part of six decades, the Penn State football program was the realm, the product of the 43 years that Paterno gave the school as its head coach. He gave the school two national championships, and he was, without the doubt the face and soul of the football program: the face of the school. Joe Paterno died in January 2012. He had been struggling briefly with lung cancer. One would say that at 85-years-old, all you really need to pass away is to be alive. Then again, Papa Joe, as he was kindly called among friends and co-workers and players alike, was not your average Joe.

Then again, Papa Joe, as he was kindly called among friends and co-workers and players alike, was not your average Joe.


Only two and a half months after the Penn State University decided to fire Joe Paterno, he fell ill and died. Many believed that the institution made a quick call to try to save it’s so called reputation amid the child sex abuse investigation around Jerry Sandusky, an assistant coach to Paterno, and fired the coach in an effort to stay clear of the scandal. And yet, when the time came to let Paterno go in peace, the campus filled with mourners and many public figures came out to defend Papa Joe, and state that it would be the investigation and the investigation alone that would clarify the air, and bring on some truth. But that in general, the damage had already been done.


Rumor has it, the school has been trying to reach an agreement with the Paterno’s family and his estate. It seems that in an effort to get Joe’s family to sign off their right to sue the school, under this contract, or any other reason, should it consider it appropriate, Penn State officials offered to rename Beaver Stadium after the late coach. But the family declined to give up its rights to sue. Last Thursday, according to a press release given out by the school, the school signed and delivered four checks to the Paterno estate for a little over 4 million dollars. It was money that the school still owed for the latest work contract and moneys owed in television and broadcasting rights.


According to the report, the family also receives a private suite in the Beaver Stadium for the next 25 years, a long-term commodity that is worth somewhere around 1.5 million dollars. The family lawyer said that the money that has been received so far is by no means a deal offered by the school to the family. It is merely money that was owed by the school to the late coach. On the other hand, Paterno’s family said that it would be a grand gesture to name the stadium after the coach that guided the squad for over four decades, but that they wouldn’t consider this to be a negotiation strategy by the school. Joe is gone. It’s unclear if he was wrongfully blamed for his assistant’s actions. The Jerry Sandusky case is still under investigation.  

About the Author

Stephen Lars is a prominent sports blogger and currently covers the Sports news, previews and handicaps for the BetIAS Sportsbook. You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.

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