State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Paterno Viewings, Memorial Costs Near $30,000

by on February 07, 2012 3:08 PM

Expenses for the two-day public viewing and memorial service for Joe Paterno were approximately $29,000, the university wrote in an email Tuesday afternoon.

The athletic department, entirely self-sufficient, is picking up most of the tab, using $23,000 from the Athletic Directors' Discretionary Fund to pay for the three-day memorial for the former football coach, who passed away Jan. 22 at age 85 some two months after starting chemotherapy and radiation treatments for lung cancer.

The university will pay for the workload done by university police, which will cost about $6,000.

The Athletic Director's Discretionary Fund is funded from unrestricted miscellaneous gifts to athletics, according to a follow-up email from Jeff Nelson, assistant athletic director of communications for football.

The fund is used to cover such expenses as smaller facilities improvements that are not included in the overall athletics budget, floral arrangements from athletics for funerals of a current or former Penn State athletics employee or a current/former head coach that Penn State teams competed against on a regular basis and receptions for anniversary teams that return to campus and are recognized at a game, such as the 1986 football team last fall.

Additionally, the fund is used for tickets for athletics staff members to attend awards banquets, among other uses.

About 40,000 people attended the closed-casket viewings of Paterno last month at Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, including the private viewing by current members of the football team and hundreds of former lettermen, staff and special guests.

More than 12,000 attended the public memorial service at the Bryce Jordan Center on Jan. 26. The Paterno family and university athletics were instrumental in organizing the event, which lasted a little more than two hours and featured 12 speakers, including Paterno's son and columnist Jay Paterno.

The previous afternoon, thousands lined the streets of campus and downtown State College as Paterno's hearse and caravan made their way to the burial site.

For many, the service was a final chance to pay last respects to the Hall of Fame coach, who was fired Nov. 9 in wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.

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Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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