End Of The Line For Joe Paterno?

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He is 81 years old and will be coaching his 43rd season when the Penn State Nittany Lions take to the field this fall. With 372 victories under his belt, the Joe Paterno Penn Stateaffectionately named “JoePa” is likely to make this coming season his last one. At least that is the rumor around College Station, PA and what is being reported by sports writers across the country.

Paterno’s contract ends after the 2008 season with no long term contract coming. University president Graham Spanier has met with Paterno to discuss his future and distributed a press release last week announcing that no contract was offered. Given Paterno’s age, the university may elect to go year-to-year with Paterno or they could be waiting until the season is over to announce their next step.

Paterno’s unwillingness to retire may be costing Penn State from recruiting some blue chip players. Despite back to back 9-4 seasons, the Nittany Lions have not had the dept to challenge for the Big Ten title as new students aren’t willing to commit if Paterno isn’t around and a succession order put in place. Thus far, the immensely popular Paterno has rebuffed suggestions that he should retire with no one willing to force the issue.

Penn State has won the national championship twice under Paterno, first in 1982 and again in 1986. Since joining the Big Ten conference beginning with the 1993 season, Paterno won conference championships in 1994 and 2005.

(Source: Philadephia Daily News)


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