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.
| October 4, 2010; 10:38 AM ET
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