In July, Joe Paterno either made a savvy, estate-planning move, or he transferred ownership of his house to his wife for an entirely different reason. According to the New York Times:
Joe Paterno transferred full ownership of his house to his wife, Sue, for $1 in July, less than four months before a sexual abuse scandal engulfed his Penn State football program and the university.
Documents filed in Centre County, Pa., show that on July 21, Paterno’s house near campus was turned over to “Suzanne P. Paterno, trustee” for a dollar plus “love and affection.” The couple had previously held joint ownership of the house, which they bought in 1969 for $58,000.
According to documents filed with the county, the house’s fair-market value was listed at $594,484.40. Wick Sollers, a lawyer for Paterno, said in an e-mail that the Paternos had been engaged in a “multiyear estate planning program,” and the transfer “was simply one element of that plan.” He said it had nothing to do with the scandal.
First and most obvious question: At what point during the 18-month Grand Jury investigation was Paterno interviewed? We know part of his testimony, but we don’t know when that was. Maybe Paterno spoke with the investigators in May, and quickly reacted. Maybe he spoke to them in 2010, but then he spoke with everyone else in the athletic department, found out they were grilled too, and then he decided he needed to get creative in case the shit hit the fan. If you read the Times piece, that seems to be what the experts think happened.
So maybe Paterno wasn’t as senile as everyone thought he was, huh?
Paterno Passed On Home to His Wife for $1 [NYT]