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.