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Paterno gets contract extension through 2008
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Old 20 May 2004, 12:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Paterno gets contract extension through 2008

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) Despite three losing seasons in the last four years, Joe Paterno got a four-year contract extension from Penn State on Thursday that will take him past his 80th birthday.

Penn State went 3-9 last season, the worst record in Paterno's 39 seasons as head coach of the Nittany Lions. It was just the fourth losing season since Paterno joined the coaching staff in 1950.

Penn State didn't win a road game for the first time since the 1936 season, and finished below .500 in the Big Ten (1-7) for the first time since joining the conference for the 1993 season.

"I appreciate this extension and show of confidence in me and our football program," Paterno said in a statement. "I still enjoy coaching and I'm excited about the upcoming season and the incoming recruiting class."

Athletic director Tim Curley said Paterno's decades of success were given more weight than the recent slump.

"We certainly looked overall and very much felt that we wanted him to continue," Curley said. "We're really excited about the current squad members and the incoming group that we've got coming in. We don't think we're that far away."

In a statement, university president Graham Spanier praised Paterno's "success on the field, the graduation rate of his student athletes and the positive impact his players have made on society."

Terms of the deal were not released.

The contract for the 77-year-old Paterno was scheduled to end after the 2004 season and, because of Penn State's recent lack of success, many questioned if the coach would return.

But Paterno has repeatedly said he wants to continue coaching as long as he's healthy.

"Penn State's future is bright and we are determined to have a team which in the future will again be in the mix for a national championship," he said.

Paterno won national championships in 1982 and 1986 and has coached five undefeated teams. His overall record is 339-109-3, and he is second only to Florida State's Bobby Bowden in major-college wins.


AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
================================================== ========

This is a week late, but I thought this would be a good discussion.

Do you feel that Penn State is doing the right thing by granting the contract extension since Paterno has been the face of Penn State for over 40 years and has done more for the school and Pennslyvania than any other man

or

Do you think Penn State is delaying the inevitable which is letting go of Paterno. Penn State has had losing records in 3 of the past 4 seasons. Any other school, he'd be gone and maybe no one wants to be the bad guy and fire the beloved Paterno.

Later, I will post my thoughts and they are long.
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Old 20 May 2004, 03:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I say let him stay. I don't see how you can blame him for not being able to attract good players. Isn't that scouts and the schools fault?
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Old 20 May 2004, 05:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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He's got 2 Years left...Tops..The Fact is..when any team isn't doing well..it's put on the coach..it may not be the coaches fault..but it's put on him anyway..Like they Said on PTI..if he gets a winning season..and goes to a bowl..it would be the perfect time for him to go..
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Old 20 May 2004, 11:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Here are my thoughts.

Joe Paterno is a national treasure. He is the epitome of all that is good in college football in a era where there isn't a whole lot of good. He means a whole lot to Penn State, the state of Pennslyvania and the United States. I honestly believe he is one of America's most beloved sports figures.

No man has contributed as much to a school as Joe Paterno has, how many coaches do you know have libraries named after them. When he came to Penn State, Penn State was a small bumpkin school, today it is considered one of the finest in the country.

The football has been awesome. Penn State for most of my lifetime has been a perennial power and has 2 national titles under Paterno to show for it.

That said, I seriously think Penn State should have reconsidered. I know Joe Pa is their icon, but even the great ones lost it by hanging on too long. Penn State hasn't had a winning record in 3 of the last 4 seasons.

UT_Tombstone_3, to answer your question, he does get good players as Pennslyvania is a football hotbed and it is believed that he doesn't tell recruits about his future plans.

As for coaching, since the 2000 season (the 1st losing one), asst. coaches have been taking the bullets for Coach Paterno.

Why he hasn't been fired, its because no one wants to be the bad guy and fire the legend. When Jerry Jones fired then Cowboys coach and Hall of Famer Tom Landry, there was a backlash in Dallas the likes that has rarely been seen over a coaching change. Many people he and Jimmy Johnson would be ran out of Dallas and we all know what happened.

As for this year, Penn State could actually make a bowl game. Michigan and OSU have has some losses along with other teams while Penn State remains a fairly young team.

2005, if Paterno is around will be intresting. Michigan is back on the schedule and they hold a 6 game winning streak over PSU. A 7th loss could be what sends Penn State alumni over the edge.

Many people also see Paterno pulling a Woody Hayes (FYI, in the 1978 Gator Bowl against Clemson, Hayes punched a Clemson player returning an interception. OSU had no choice but to fire Coach Hayes.), but I doubt Paterno goes over the edge personality wise.
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