Could this season finally be the last for Joe Paterno in Happy Valley? And is Greg Schiano the man who will fill his wingtips?
(”Hit the road, old man!” “You want some of this, punk?“)
THE PHANATIC MAGAZINE can believe it. The Philly sports site hears word from the always-reliable “unnamed source” that plans are afoot in Penn State to punt the 81-year-old coach out of the picture, and bring in the man who’s revitalized Rutgers’ once-rotten football program:
The source told The Phanatic Magazine that Paterno’s recent poor health and a divided board of trustees over the program’s future has led University President Graham Spanier down this path.
It is unclear, according to the source, whether Paterno or the program will issue a statement about the plan or clarify that this is Paterno’s final season at Penn State.
The source also stated that the university, by NCAA by-laws, can not have any official contact with Schiano, who is under contract at Rutgers, but has put out feelers to gauge Schiano’s interest.
That interest, according to a source, appears to be substantial and mutual.
True, Joe has had a few recent health scares, but he’s also shown to still have the passion & fire to take coaching seriously. It’s not so hard to believe that Paterno will be puttering along the Beaver Stadium sidelines for as long as he wants.
But if the Nittany Lions claw up a 6-6 record come December, then Joe should get his bags ready.
As for Schiano, Penn State would be a plum job - but he’ll be replacing a guy that’s spent almost a half-century leading the Lions. (Not many other coaches have been around long enough to have an ice cream flavor named after them.) It’s never easy to follow in the footsteps of a legend. Just ask Aaron Rodgers how it feels to be taking over for Brett Favre.
Greg has already turned down previous offers from other big programs like Miami & Michigan, and he appears committed to turn the Scarlet Knights into a perennial power. But if the State College coffers can cough up enough dough, Schiano could be packing up & out of Piscataway.