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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Is It Time for Joe Paterno to Retire?

Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News suggests that it might be.

I've blogged on this topic before and drew significant flak for the temerity of suggesting years ago that it was time for Joe Paterno to retire. I followed up on that suggestion with this post. I even mapped out a list of possible successors. Okay, it wasn't brilliant, but at least I took a stab at building an applicant pool (and one of those guys is now the head coach at Michigan).

Coach Paterno's contract expires next year. He's in his early 80's, he's still a wonderful guy, but perhaps it's finally time for the Penn State administration to tell Joe Paterno that it's time for him to make a gracious exit and, in the process, draw well-deserved accolades for a lifetime of outstanding achievements. No one wants to be mean or punitive here at all, and if the Penn State administration decides to make a move it must ensure it does so with great respect and dignity -- which I'm sure they've figured out and will do.

The bigger issue, of course, is what Joe Paterno is thinking and whether he'll agree.

And, if he doesn't, what will the Penn State administration do? Will they let the revered coach dictate his future, or will they select a worthy successor and move on to a new chapter (and one that should have commenced years ago)?

It is time for Joe Paterno to retire. The good news is, as Sam Donnellon points out, the Nittany Lions have a worthy successor waiting in the wings, a logical choice of whom all Penn Staters and Joe Paterno can be proud. That fact, alone, should be enough to give the administration courage to force the issue if it needs to and to give Coach Paterno comfort that he'll be leaving the program in good hands.

This is not a case of "Joe must go," but a case of "Coach, it's time to go, don't you really think so now?"

Stay tuned.


Anonymous The Sports Curmudgeon said...


Now that we know that JoPa earns only 500K per year, maybe it is in the best interest of Penn State to "re-up" him. The going rate for coaches at schools that ASPIRE TO BECOME major programs is at least 4 times that number.

10:05 PM  

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