Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What does Paterno make? Who cares!

The State's highest court heard arguments Monday on whether or not Penn State employees' salaries should be made public thanks in part to All-hack team reporter Jan Murphy of the Harrisburg Patriot-News, who started this mess. Murphy's argument is that since Paterno and other administrators are part of the state-funded retirement system their salaries are covered by right-to-know laws. Penn State University is arguing that since the administrators in question are not paid by public funds, their salaries are off limits.

The Supreme Court's chief justice, Ralph J. Cappy, repeatedly pressed Murphy's lawyer to explain how the salary information collected by the retirement system should be considered a public record under the state's Right-to-Know Law. Cappy questioned Penn State lawyer John A. Snyder about whether retirement system enrollees should have a reduced expectation of privacy.

Snyder contendes that Paterno and the three administrators joined the retirement system before it decided to make salaries public, and should enjoy privacy. "There was no way they could know this would happen to them 20 or 30 years after they joined [the system]," Snyder said.

So the sides have spoken and we may soon know Paterno's salary, but does anyone really care? Murphy does because, like most of the worthless reporters in Pennsylvania, she believes knowing JoePa's salary will somehow translate into paper sales. Hacks like Murphy, Ron Cook, Ron Bracken, and Dave Jones will eat this up and write their usual Paterno hit pieces hoping to incite all the JoePa haters out there. In the end their papers are still the low grade puppy do-do catchers they are and this endless proselytizing will only galvanize an already loyal fan base.

So sure, I kinda have a tiny curiosity of Joe's salary, but I just don't care, he's worth every penny. If you look at it from an administrative perspective, the return on investment is huge. Who else can walk into a fundraiser and offer a home-cooked meal from his wife for the donation price of $10,000 and get it within 30 seconds? Charlie Weis? Urban Meyer? No way. We can sit here and argue over who's the best football coach in America but there is no argument when it comes to fund raising – JoePa's second to none. Forget the economics side of it, even if Paterno's salary is higher than you think it should be what can you do? Stop watching Penn State football? The Right-to-Know law was put in place so that publicly elected officials and public organizations couldn't hide their salaries from you, not football coaches. If a public official is making a boat-load of cash, you have the ability to vote his worthless ass out, that's not the case when it comes to football. A lot of people want to know the man's salary out of class envy, but in the end it's just a worthless bit of information that only reporters will bring up every time they write an anti-Joe article, which is about every day. Rest assured that if they do make it public I'll be sure break down the mathematics for you. I may be a horrible writer but math is where I live.


Anonymous said...

I agree that his salary is nobody's business. JoePa probably doesn't care what his salary is because he lives like the common man, in a small ranch home in the borough of State College. I assume his salary is quite large, but he is worth every penny. He has been more than just an awesome football coach to the university. He has provided what his family needs and has given back to the university 3-fold for what he earns. When you look at charitable donations (the university and other charities)that he has donated to, and the amount of those donations, it would take his "net" salary down quite a bit. Knowing JoePa's attitude on many things, I would imagine he would say "here's my salary, how does that change anything?" The bottom line is that this reporter has "penis envy" over his salary and what good he done compared to her meaningless articles in a regional newspaper. I can't imagine that this is the best way to utilize our judicial system, or the tax dollars that fund it. Uncover something that is worthwhile Jan, not something that doesn't make a difference in anybody's lives.

Pete the Streak said...

Jan Murphy's 'work' - investigative journalism at it's finest.

Mike said...

To be a bit more fair, people are legitimately interested in how much people earn - CEO pay is typically disclosed by law, for instance, and there's just a shareholder interest at stake there - far less compelling than the taxpayer interest here.

Paterno is a good guy, though. I give him a pass on grandfathering.

PS: He lives in the same neighborhood as my grandmother. While it is certainly a modest ranch home compared to the typical college coach, don't get too excited - it's a very expensive neighborhood these days by local standards.