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Penn State releases details of Paterno's final contract

Terms, including a $3M retirement bonus, were set last summer and fulfilled Thursday.

Pennsylvania State University released the details Thursday of its contract with former football coach Joe Paterno, including a $3 million retirement bonus.

The contract benefits and payments add up to $5.76 million, not including $900,000 in television and radio revenue in 2011.

According to the university, the contract arrangements that were agreed to in August 2011 were fulfilled Thursday with the delivery of payment.

Penn State spokesman Bill Mahon said the university and Paterno's "estate have finalized the remaining payments due under Coach Paterno's employment contract."

"As the board of trustees has explained, it decided on Nov. 9, 2011, to honor the terms of Coach Paterno's contract as if he had retired at the end of the 2011 season," Mahon said. "That contract recognized Coach Paterno's decades-long contributions to our football program and to the entire university."

Trustees announced at a hastily called news conference the night of Nov. 9 that Paterno was being terminated as coach. Earlier that day, he had announced his intention to retire at the end of the season. The board did not accept that, firing him instead and saying his contract would be honored.

Paterno's dismissal followed the arrest of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on charges of child sexual abuse.

In a statement Thursday, Paterno family attorney Wick Sollers said: "This exercise was a straightforward payment of monies 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."

A breakdown of the contract terms 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.

Paterno, 85, died in January.