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Is it time for JoePa to go?

I was asked the question, is it time for Joe Paterno to step down after this season? Without hesitation I said no. Joe should coach as long as his health will allow it.

College athletics isn't all about wins and loses for a team. I learned from Coach Paterno there's so much more. Coach Paterno has molded and shaped the lives of countless numbers of young adults. I visit with players every year at my alma mater, and the most interesting stories I hear sound exactly the same as the stories I've told myself and heard from greats like Jack Ham and Blair Thomas when I was in school.

When those stories change, then maybe we will have to accept the sad reality that the last living coach comparable to the late, great Vince Lombardi needs to retire. But that hasn't happened yet. Joe continues to have a very positive affect on these young guys.

Life lessons like responsibility, accountability, confidence, solid work ethic, compassion, respect. I could continue the list, but it would get too long. I think you get the point.

Paterno, has earned the right, assuming he is of a sound mind and body, to decide when to call it quits.

I've had my fair share of run-ins with coach. He was real hard on me -- like a father figure I didn't like it too much. But as a result, he prepared me for a much more important game, the game of life.

Because of Joe's influence, I always felt like no matter where my life's travels would take me, I belonged. I've met kings, queens, and presidents of the United States. Never once did I not feel comfortable about who I am and where I come from.

I am a Penn State Nittany Lion, and I played for the legendary Joe Paterno, and more importantly, I am a man because of it.

So if you ask me, is it time for JoePa to go, I have to respectfully say ask me a better question than that because Coach Paterno is still doing a fine job as a head coach.

By LaVar Arrington  | October 4, 2010; 10:38 AM ET
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JoPa should've left years ago.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | October 4, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

It's not like they lost to Illinois or Purdue.

Posted by: tha_prophet | October 4, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Lavar: Please clarify something for me. What does a professional football coach actually do? For example, there is an Offensive and Defensive Coordinator, who I assume are responsible for selecting or recommending who should be the players, and I assume these coordinators, as well as the Special Teams Coach calls plays, etc. Do they recommend plays or formations to the coach or do they actually call the play? Please enlighten me. For example, Kyle Shanahan got a lot of credit for Houston's offensive success. Assuming he deserved it, what did the coach do?

Posted by: nmyricks | October 4, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

LaVar, as a Penn Stater who travels to every home game and many away games, let me first thank you for all you have done and continue to do at Penn State. The fact that you still value what Paterno and the program have given you means a lot to me.

All that said, other than a few moments of quality in 2005 and to a lesser extent, 2008, this program has become a shadow of the excellence and intensity that you guys represented in the mid to late 90s.

While we may be maintaining the high road off the field, on the field this team seems timid and unprepared. When I see the all white road uniforms, I know we are in for a long night.

I know that the graceful transition for Paterno is important to the university and probably for you personally, but I am convinced that we cannot survive on a diet of outmanned 1A opponents that inflate our record for much longer. This program needs not only a plan to transition Joe out but a plan do demand excellence on the field moving forward.

Posted by: BobSackamano | October 4, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Nice job Lavar, We Are...PENN STATE!

Posted by: jdp228 | October 4, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't agree with you more, LaVar - Joe knows best when it comes to molding men.

I think the better question is whether the recent string of Penn State players who play in the NFL can be effective. Aaron Maybin comes to mind immediately - he is failing to crack the starting lineup on the worst team in the NFL, the Buffalo Bills. Darryl Clark, who made it to the Rose Bowl with Penn State, went undrafted. Deon Butler, Michael Robinson, and Jerious Norwood started and did well at Penn State, yet are strictly role players for the teams they are on. I can't think of a quarterback out of Penn State that was drafted in the first round after Kerry Collins.

Joe knows life, and I think he knows football, but he needs to fire his coordinators. Galen Hall is atrocious - seven end-arounds a game? Tom Bradley doesn't attack with the defense at all; it seems like they consistently play a prevent defense.

Let Joe coach the team and get rid of these horrendous coordinators.

Posted by: prvanx | October 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

LeVar is exactly right in his analysis. College football is played by kids, regardless of how big it has become. A college coach's job is more than win games, regardless of how competitive it has become.

It sure is disappointing when our team loses, but Penn State, the University and the football team, is respected everywhere. Getting rid of Joe would be the wrong thing to do and would be perceived, quite rightly, as the University choosing wins and losses over principle (see Florida State and Bobby Bowden if you doubt that statement).

What I like about LeVar is that he has the right perspective and he still is a relatively young man.

Posted by: observer23 | October 5, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

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