Thursday, December 23, 2010

If Joe Paterno was a year older for every retirement rumor that popped up, he'd be older than Methuselah. Oh wait...

Call it an inevitable circumstance after Joe Paterno's birthday. Call it a slow news day around. It's probably just called Thursday around Happy Valley. But yet another story involving possible retirement for the Penn State head football coach is popping up.
This time around, the rumors involve reports that JoePa's assistants looking at the then-vacant Temple head football coaching position (now filled by Steve Addazio),and those pesky health-related stories that persist around JoePa. Outside events such as Urban Meyer's retirement at Florida (The Nittany Lions' Outback Bowl opponent), and the forcing out of Maryland's Ralph Friedgen probably don't help things, either.
The fact of Paterno's age and concerns over his health tend to overshadow that he has managed to lead Penn St. to its third New Year's Day bowl game in a row. That at least has to say something about whether or not he is still able to coach a college football team. It's outside events that probably make Nittany Lions' fans a little more anxious.The annual shifting sands of the post-season coaching landscape do a lot to increase speculation and/or debate about Paterno's future. With every high-profile coach de jour that takes a new job, it means one less possible candidate for Penn State should something actually happen to Paterno.
There are going to be rumors regarding Joe Paterno's continued employment as Penn State head football coach for as long as he continues to coach. That's a given for any coach. Penn State will probably not force the issue as long as JoePa can manage to field a reasonably successful team in the Big Ten, he'll be able to coach as long as he wants to. Until then, health concerns will guide the chatter of whether or not it is time for Paterno to step down. But JoePa will obviously be the one who has the last word.
(via Onward State, Linebacker U)

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