Along with the firing of Paterno, the board of trustees at the same time accepted the resignation of former school president Graham Spanier.
Lubrano said he has spoken to 17 of the 32 trustees who, in a unanimous vote, dismissed the coach - five days after his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, was arrested on child sex-abuse charges. Lubrano said he also talked with administrators; fellow donors; and, as recently as Tuesday, to Paterno himself.
As a result, Lubrano has become convinced the Sandusky scandal provided a convenient excuse for an administration that had been trying since 2004 to gently nudge Paterno out the door and get on with the long-delayed transition to a new head coach for its lucrative football program.
"His firing had nothing to do with Sandusky," Lubrano said. "Nothing. . . . He [Paterno] had become less involved in fund-raising, and there'd been some kind of falling-out with Spanier. Spanier got to the point where he really wanted to replace him."
Spanier could not be reached for comment.
The stunning dismissal came shortly after Paterno had announced that he would step down after the 2011 season.
But according to Lubrano, Paterno had informed Penn State before the season of his intention to retire after 2011. The coach, he added, also provided administrators at that time with a list of four prospective replacements. One of the men on that list, Lubrano said, was Urban Meyer.
After news of the Penn State scandal broke, Meyer, who had retired in December 2010 after guiding Florida to two national titles and three Southeastern Conference championships in six seasons, instead accepted the head coaching job at Ohio State.
"From what I've been told, Meyer wanted the job here," Lubrano said.
Lubrano said Paterno was rebuffed when he attempted to meet with the board after the Sandusky scandal surfaced, tainting the program Paterno had headed since 1966.
The impetus for Lubrano's Thursday night informational session, in a room just down the hall from where Erickson would answer scandal-related questions from alumni, came after the university president held a similar meeting Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
Lubrano termed the answers Erickson gave at the Pittsburgh session "unsatisfactory."
After that meeting, Franco Harris, the ex-Penn State football star who has been among the most vocal critics of the university's treatment of Paterno, called Lubrano and suggested they provide their own answers to curious alumni.
"I couldn't let Franco be out there by himself," Lubrano said.
Contact staff writer Frank Fitzpatrick at 215-854-5068, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @philafitz on Twitter. Read his blog, "Giving 'Em Fitz," at www.philly.com/fitz