Joe Paterno is no longer on the payroll at Penn State, and still hasn't commented publicly on the fact two months after being shown the door by the university's board of trustees. If he's bitter about the way his 46-year tenure ended, though, he's not showing it with his bank account:
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and his wife donated $100,000 last month to Penn State, money that was split between a library and an undergraduate fellows program that bear the family name.
Sue Paterno on Monday described the contributions to the Paterno Liberal Arts Undergraduate Fellows Program and the Paterno Library as an annual gift.
Students in the fellows program receive $1,500 to $5,000 to help fund research, overseas study and internships. English professor Jack Selzer, who runs it, said the $50,000 gift was the couple's second contribution to the program.
''It helps students who otherwise would never have a chance to study abroad (to) have a chance,'' Selzer said. ''It really frees them up for experiences that they could otherwise never afford.''
Obviously, JoePa has a slightly more understanding attitude toward the university he helped build over the course of his entire professional life than some of his former players in the wake of his abrupt exit. Paterno is known for his philanthropy on campus, most notably giving millions for the completion of a library expansion that now bears his name and at least $1 million for a campus interfaith spiritual center.
Before he was fired, Paterno was making a little over $1 million per year, according to USA Today, which would have made the all-time winningest coach in college football history the highest paid employee at Penn State but also the lowest-paid head coach in the Big Ten with the exception of Purdue's Danny Hope. Old habits die hard.
Paterno was officially ousted on Nov. 9 for failing to respond with enough urgency to an eyewitness allegation that longtime defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky had been caught molesting a young boy in a Penn State shower. Less than a week later, Paterno was diagnosed with lung cancer, and has been undergoing treatment; he was also hospitalized last month after reportedly falling at his home, aggravating a hip injury that relegated him to the press box for most of the season after colliding with a player during a preseason practice. Paterno's son, Jay, told ESPN today that his father is "in great spirits" and "anxious to get out there soon and start to tell his side of the story," when he's physically (and legally) able.