November 07, 2010

400 for JoePa; How Long Will He Go?: Joe Paterno's 400th coaching victory came in a 35-21 comebacker over Northwestern. Paterno was hoisted onto the shoulders of his players and briefly carried before being met on the field by his wife and a mob of reporters and well-wishers. The milestone having been achieved, the question remains; when will JoePa decide he's had enough?

posted by Howard_T to football at 02:31 PM - 7 comments

Until he dies.

Good for him, though. He's doing something he loves and wants to do rather than rot at home. And without him, Penn State would be viewed the same as Indiana and Illinois in the Big Ten.

posted by Bonkers at 09:47 PM on November 07, 2010

He's been Penn State Football for so long he should be the only one to decide when he's ready to step down. He's been a paragon and a shining example for every coach in the country. A class act who will never be rivaled. Long live Joe Pa.,,and stay as long as you like Joe...

posted by wildbill1 at 10:48 AM on November 08, 2010

Time to go Joe. As much as I love seeing Penn State recruiting suffer because of Joe, it is time to walk away. At this point, he is a figure head and mostly uninvolved in play calling or game planning. He has done a hell of a job, but at this point he is hurting more then helping

Also the fact that it looks like they are not going to give the keys to Coach Bradley after years of promises is crap.

posted by Debo270 at 01:16 PM on November 08, 2010

I'm confused...If Coach Paterno is mainly a figurehead and uninvolved, how is he hurting Penn State?

posted by yzelda4045 at 01:30 PM on November 08, 2010

Because you can't bring in a big-name coach to play second fiddle.

posted by yerfatma at 01:33 PM on November 08, 2010

From many things I have heard and read, he is at the age where he is out of touch with players. Who do you want to play for, an old man who is past his time and people are waiting for to retire or die, or a Coach firmly in charge of his program and with the times a little.

posted by Debo270 at 01:33 PM on November 08, 2010

Penn State is quite likely to promote from inside, rather than opt for the big-time, big-name, big salary outsider. Their administration is quite adamant about holding the budget (entire budget, not just athletics) within bounds, and since PSU is a public university, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a strong voice in the matter as well. Paterno is looked upon by his players as a sort of grandfather figure. True, his assistants do most of the coaching, game planning, and in-game play calling, but JoePa always has a voice. During my son's freshman year, the team had a number of disciplinary incidents. It was Paterno's handling of these (suspensions, pulled scholarships, but no expulsion or being dropped from the team) that pulled the team together and led to a pair of very good years before this year's rebuilding and injury-plagued problems. The players know they can trust him and his judgment (as well as his influence with the administration).

Penn State has typically done very little recruiting outside of the Ohio/Michigan, Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic areas. Even in the Northeast, their reach does not extend much beyond Connecticut. The time when the steel mills of western Pennsylvania and the coal mines of the Scranton-Wilkes Barre area yielded the big brawny linemen and tough running backs has passed. The few that remain are coveted by the rest of the Big Ten and others, so Penn State's recruiting has suffered a bit. At his age, Paterno isn't likely to begin doing the extensive travel that would be needed to recruit on a national basis. His assistants could do it, but they will not have JoePa as a "closer". Until they begin to look beyond their traditional area, Penn State is not likely to be a serious challenger for any national title.

My own take is that Penn State does better than it should with what it has, and this can be attributed to Paterno, both in a positive and a negative sense.

On review of the above, one thing I have neglected to point out is Penn State's insistence on the student-athlete, not just the athlete attending college to play football. Their 4-year graduation rate is 84% for football, compared to 67% nationwide, and is second in the Big Ten to Northwestern. This too can be at least partly attributed to Paterno's influence on selecting players who can balance the demands of academics and athletics.

If I sound like a PR man for Penn State, please forgive me. I've been highly impressed by the place ever since my son made his first campus visit there about 5 years ago. Besides, enough of my money has been sent to State College that I have to say something nice about it.

posted by Howard_T at 02:23 PM on November 08, 2010

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.