PSU pays Paterno estate more than $5.5M

Penn State on Thursday announced it has provided Joe Paterno's estate more than $5.5 million in payments and benefits to settle the late coach's contract. The school says it finalized the remaining payments due to the coach, who was fired in November in the wake of the child sex abuse scandal and died in January.

Despite the large payout, Paterno's family denies that it has settled with Penn State, saying through its lawyer that it declined a request for a full release. Paterno family lawyer Wick Sollers released a statement that notes Penn State made "a straightforward payment of moneys indisputably owed to the Paterno estate. 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."

From the Associated Press:

A breakdown of the payments provided by the school included: a career bonus of $3 million, an annual bonus of $425,000, the use by Paterno's family of a Beaver Stadium suite for 25 years valued at $1.5 million and $900,000 from television and radio revenue from last season.The deal also pledges payments to the coach's widow, Sue Paterno, of $1,000 a month for life, and gives her on-campus parking and access to university hydrotherapy equipment. ...

Other elements of the package include a final paycheck of $34,000, a death benefit of $51,000, a bowl bonus of $50,000, and $350,000 -- payable over five years -- under a 1986 consulting agreement. The university also agreed to forgive $350,000 in outstanding loans and debt. No explanation was provided regarding Paterno's debts to the school. While the school said in a news release that the total value of the package was "over $5.5 million," added together the various elements are worth about $6.7 million.

Penn State holds its Blue-White Game on Saturday, and some are planning tributes to honor Paterno, including one urging fans to wear black shoes to Beaver Stadium.