PSU Paying $4.4 Million in Severance

But Joe Paterno, who is still technically employed by the university, is not part of the package for coaches who have been fired.

The Penn State football program's recent coaching overhaul came with a hidden cost.

At the school's Board of Trustees meeting on campus Friday, acting athletic director Dave Joyner said the athletic department had to dip into its surplus fund for nearly $4.5 million in severance pay for fired assistant coaches.

“It's 4.4-something million in severance packages,” Joyner said. He later clarified that it was $4.432 million.

PSU Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno was fired Nov. 8 in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. On Jan. 6, the university announced the hiring of New England Patriots' offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien as Paterno's replacement.

O'Brien only kept two assistants from the former staff.

Joyner said the 85-year-old Paterno, who is a tenured member of the Penn State faculty, was not covered by the severance package.

“I don't know what the contractual relationship is (there),” Joyner said. “If he continues on as a salaried professor -- an emeritus professor -- then it wouldn't be a severance package, I guess. … It's part of the legal issues and the contract.”

Joyner declined to say which of the former assistant coaches were covered by the severance package. But he did acknowledge that former receivers coach Mike McQueary, who was placed on administrative leave when it was revealed he was a key witness in the state's case against Sandusky, continues to be on paid administrative leave.

O'Brien kept defensive line coach Larry Johnson and linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden on his staff.

That leaves six assistants who were not retained -- quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno (Joe Paterno's son), offensive line coaches Dick Anderson and Bill Kenney, running backs coach Galen Hall, defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and secondary coach Kermit Buggs.

Joyner said there was a chance some of the former assistants could gain other positions at Penn State. And retirement could be an option for Anderson and Hall, who are both in their 70s.

“Obviously I think one or two of them may just retire, or be let go and retire afterward,” Joyner said. “I don't know the technical things that have to happen because that's being handled by (human recourses).

“On the other hand, there are some (former assistants) that will likely want to be retained and work in other positions here at the university,” he added. “Actually, the university is very good historically … we don't make up work, but they find work for people who want to stay within their skill sets and fit our needs.”


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