Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno released a statement Wednesday announcing he will retire at the end of the season.More >>
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA (RNN) - The Penn State Board of Trustees made it clear that it will honor the contract of late head coach Joe Paterno, despite admissions that his role in the Jerry Sandusky scandal "marred" Paterno's legacy.
Board Chair Karen Peetz said Friday during a trustee meeting that "contracts are contracts" and that the school would stand by the pact it agreed to in August 2011, six months before Paterno died of lung cancer at age 85.
The contract published on the school's website totaled $5.5 million, including a $3 million bonus and title as head football coach emeritus if he retired at the end of the 2011 season.
The contract, which will now benefit his estate, also included payouts from television and radio revenue, use of the university's luxury box and monthly payments to Paterno's wife for the rest of her life.
Paterno's family has admitted that he could have done more to report Sandusky's actions, but they have also adamantly defended the beloved coach's legacy and overall contribution to the school.
A report from former FBI director Louis Freeh found Paterno was partially responsible for Sandusky's abuse of numerous boys. Many of the cases of abuse happened on campus.
Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, was found guilty on 45 criminal charges related to sexually abusing boys as young as 10 years old. He is awaiting sentencing.
Paterno testified before a grand jury on Jan. 12 about his knowledge of the Sandusky case, but passed long before the former assistant coach was found guilty on June 22.
Peetz said the findings "marred" Paterno's legacy, a finding which his family contested.
"Joe Paterno wasn't perfect," the Paterno family said in a statement released after the Freeh Report became public. "He made mistakes and he regretted them. He is still the only leader to step forward and say that with the benefit of hindsight he wished he had done more."
The family vehemently denied the report's claim that his lack of follow-up with authorities pointed to his participation in the cover up of Sandusky's crimes.
Paterno is the winningest Football Bowl Subdivision coach in history with 401 victories.
An artist that painted a mural depicting the coach with a halo over his head removed the halo Saturday.
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