(AP) Penn State football coach Joe Paterno wouldn’t mind public disclosure of his salary but understands why the university is in court fighting a newspaper’s request for it.
“I’d be happy to give them my salary. I think everybody would really be surprised what I’m making,” Paterno said before a fund-raising event Thursday. “I mean that. Compared to what people are making today. … I have no problem with that.
“But having said that, I think the university has a principle. They don’t want to release salaries because they don’t want to get into a game where one guy who’s teaching philosophy is making this, and some guy that’s teaching mathematics is making this, and they’re constantly defending [what they do],” Paterno said.
The Commonwealth Court heard arguments last week on whether the State Employees’ Retirement System board was right to rule last year that the salaries of Paterno and three other university officials are public record subject to a right-to-know request from The Patriot-News of Harrisburg. The retirement board has delayed releasing the information pending Penn State’s Commonwealth Court appeal.
“I’ve got a lot of other things [to worry about] besides that,” Paterno said. “I’ve got to find a tight end. If they want to trade my salary for a tight end, I’m ready.”
As Paterno prepares for his 40th season as Penn State head coach, he said he’s feeling the pressure that comes with having four losing seasons in five years, including a 7-16 record over the last two seasons.