UPDATE: Email Included! There’s a lot of Joe Paterno Rumblings, None of Them are Good

We're not about to state something as fact without some solid evidence, but we have the email that is causing the stir about Joe Paterno and an impending retirement.

Over the last few years it has been as predictable as the turn of seasons: Will Joe Paterno retire? This year, it seems there are more rumblings than usual.

HHR just published part of an e-mail that speaks of three rumored "mini-strokes" and basically says Joe Pa is done:

Joe is apparently sick. The rumors vary as to what he actually has or has undergone over the last 9 months, but none of it is good. Anyone that has any sort of day-to-day contact with him has been saying this. Instead of looking bad once every 10 public appearances, hes bad every other appearancewe see it in the p.c.s, but other people say its more evident when you see him in person.


And then there's this, from a Penn State blog, mind you, that talks about the same email that is floating around:

While I have a copy, I'm not going to repost it here. But I will say that there is a lot of "No, seriously this time, guys…" kind of stuff in it. From Joe having severe health issues, to a certain Super Bowl winning head coach being the main prize for the athletic department, to players publicly talking about how bad things are getting. 

Some of it I find tough to believe is 100 percent accurate. But other parts don't seem all that far-fetched. 


All accounts (including this one) on Paterno mention a charter plane being used to fly family members to his final game, the Outback Bowl.  

I won't pretend to be a little bit connected to Penn State, but this the Soup Du Jour.  It's the Soup of the Day.

UPDATE: The full email that is being circulated in PSU circles, after the jump.  Keep in mind that, in the past, these sorts of emails have proven to be nothing more than rumor.  But this is what is being circulated.  Read it, and put a big grain of salt in your mouth.

This is the email that is causing the fuss.  My belief?  Instead of reading others' reports of the email, let people read it for themselves and form an opinion.  Again, none of this is proven, but it's what's causing the stir.

Of course, Joe Pa did return to practice today in Florida at the Carpenter Complex.  Yep, where the Phillies hold spring training.

And then there's this, a recent interview with Tampa Sports radio.  Can you hear me, Mad Dog?



Here is the email, it was obviously first written before Al Golden accepted the Miami job:

There is a lot going on with PSU and the first email way below sums most of it up.  [Name] can fill you in, but it’s almost certain that the Outback Bowl will be Joe’s last game.  He has some major health issues including a frequency of mini strokes called TIAs and possible intestinal cancer.  He is not in good shape, sorry to say, and plans are in motion behind the scenes including several private jets filled with Paterno family members flying to the bowl game since it will be his last.  The assistants have been told that Joe’s successor will be hired from outside the staff which is why Bradley, Big Red, Vandy and everyone else is looking around at other positions.  Bradley and Vandy both interviewed with Temple in recent days and Big Red will likely follow Bradley to whatever job he lands.   Golden called PSU before taking the Miami job and PSU told him our next hire will be from outside PSU.  Leading candidates seem to be Tony Dungy, Chris Petersen (Boise), Dan Mullen (Miss State, former OC at Florida under Meyer and native of Philadelphia/Ursinus/PSU grad father) but there are names flying everywhere and there seems to be a great deal more interest in PSU than there was for Miami, Michigan, etc.  Some insiders seem to like the idea of Dungy coming in for 5-7 years and restoring PSU to the top tier, then Golden coming back to lead the program long term after he gets more experience on the bigger stage that Miami has to offer.   The next couple of weeks should be very interesting…


Very interesting:

So here’s the extent of what I am hearing…..


1.      Joe is apparently sick.  The rumors vary as to what he actually has or has undergone over the last 9 months, but none of it is good.  Anyone that has any sort of day-to-day contact with him has been saying this.  Instead of looking bad once every 10 public appearances, he’s bad every other appearance…we see it in the p.c.’s, but other people say its more evident when you see him in person.  Some people literally thought he was at death’s door during the season.  It’s been that bad at times.  One rumor is that he has had 3 mini strokes in the past month.  He is apparently no longer allowed to drive, and his short term memory is completely shot.


2.      Apparently this all came to a head at the senior banquet.  Tons of players tweeted crap about how out of it he was…..said it was going to be great to play in a “Thanksgiving Day Bowl”….someone in admin. Reached out to every living captain that played for him and asked them to write a letter to Joe, which was presented to him in a book.  It was weird, because no one knew or thought anything was officially decided, but it was clear it was kind of like a send off.  Anyway, he gets the book and is fine speaking for a couple of minutes, then tails off into nonsense and nobody can figure out what he’s talking about….he finished up by saying “I gotta go beat my old friend Spurrier in the bowl game”….walks off the stage, and walks out of the room.


3.      Within the last week, the family (Sue, Jay and whichever daughter is the power player…I forget who’s who) apparently stepped up and said this is it.  There are “extra planes” so that the entire family can make the trip.


4.      The coaches know it and it’s apparently clear that none of them are getting the job (Joe’s choice was Vandy).  Vandy is in consideration for the Ball State job…..Scrap has reached out to Pitt and told Big Red he’ll take him with wherever he ends up.  LJ is apparently considering moving on completely from coaching and seeking out other opportunities.


5.      Rumor is that Golden knows this.  Some have suggested that he will take the Miami job.  Others have suggested that he has taken his name out of the hat for Miami because he is the plan B candidate here.


6.      Multiple people have said “the” name is Dungy, and that contact has been made in the last couple of days, and interest is mutual.  I don’t know if I buy that, but I don’t know why the people who have said this would suggest him when they’ve all had other names on their wishlist ahead of him for a while.


The banquet stuff is true (there are witnesses).  I am not sure about any of the other stuff, but it’s all being relayed by sources I would consider good.  The Outback is apparently it.


22 Responses

  1. I can’t say that I’m a huge Penn State football fan, but I’ve followed them pretty closely for most of my life.
    It’s been apparent for many years that Penn State will not get any better until JoePa steps down. I know many people who’ve attended PSU and look at me like I’ve committed some act of sacrilege whenever I bring it up.
    Yes, JoePa is one of the greatest, if not THE greatest college football coach of all-time. But, don’t you Penn State fans want to WIN? Don’t you want to get back to being a respected program and contend yearly for the BCS?
    JoePa is a living legend. He’s done everything there is for him to do as a football coach. It’s time for him to realize he’s being detrimental to the club in terms of game plan and strategy.
    There’s no one who can rally a crowd like JoePa, but things have a change, and hopefully that will be next season.

  2. Paterno’s a class act and I wish him well. Another great New Yorker.
    PSU fans, on the other hand:

  3. JoePa is the best college coach of all time (in my heart and millions of others).
    Wish him the best and PSU football the best….

  4. lol, Swisher sucks. If you’re going to be a Yankee loving, troll, at least have an affinity for a player that isn’t a meth addicted tool satchel with a mendoza line carreer average.

  5. I’ve been a Michigan fan all my life, but I’ve grown up around PSU fans. I’ve never had a hatred for PSU because of the way all the fans have always stood behind JoPa even though it’s pretty clear they’ll never get over the hump until he’s gone. They love him, and to an extent, I love him just as a part of football. He’s as timeless as guys like Lombardi, Madden, etc. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to see him struggling the way he is, and I hope he retires without too much fuss and I hope he’s as happy as can be with the rest of his life.
    That all being said, if Dungy ends up coaching Penn State, I’ll be the biggest Nittany Lions fan in the world.

  6. As a senior at PSU, Joe is more than just a football coach, he is a god. He’s as responsible for the academic success of PSU as he is for the football teams success. Seeing him leave as a coach would be devastating, get better Joe.

  7. Glad to see the PSU folks weighing in. This email has been circulated for weeks and is what is causing this groundswell. Remember to take it with a grain of salt, but better to see it than to have to read a bunch of “reports” about it.

  8. I go to Alabama but I’m from outside of Philadelphia. Seeing Bama and PSU meet in Tuscaloosa was a neat experience. When JoePa walked out onto the field everyone in the stadium gave him an extended standing ovation. The man warrants an immense amount of respect for what he has done for football. At that game, I met alumni from Penn State (and from Notre Dame) that were choked up when they talked about the rivalries they had back in the 70s with Bama. To them, bringing back this old rivalry brought back a time when JoePa had PSU at their winningest.
    Joe is to be revered among the highest of college football legend, and he’s not even retired. To not respect the man, is to be ignorant about the sport itself.
    thats just my opinion though

  9. What a shame.. Not being a big college football fan, I can still recognize legends when I see them. If it was just his profession coming to a close, that’s one thing. But to read all of that about his health, that’s just sad. I hope Joe is ok and is able to watch his team be victorious for years to come.

  10. As long as there is air in Joe Paterno’s lungs, he will be the coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, and I have no doubt about that. Joe Pa is unstopable. He’ll pull through.

  11. I don’t know what to think about all the health rumors, but I will say this: If Joe wants to coach next year, and is able, I believe he will. It is the first year of the Big Ten expansion, something he has been vocal about for years, he gets the chance to coach vs. Alabama and Nebraska at home, and above all, it is the last year of his contract. Barring any serious health setbacks, I believe next year will be Joe’s “farewell tour” and a succession plan will be announced after the Outback Bowl. It’s not a huge deal when assistant coaches look at other possibilities, that’s happened every other year. I think Tom Bradley will be given the job, I’m not so sure about the rumor that the Tony Dungy thing is “mutual.” I go to Penn State and think it would be a shame for Joe not to go out on his own terms. He is absolutely a legend and I consider myself lucky to have been able to watch him on the sidelines the past 2 years. I had chills running down my spine during the 400th win celebration. I wish him good health and that I am able to watch him for one more year. WE ARE.

  12. No “health rumors” are really needed to make a case for him stepping down. Being 84 years old is a health issue in and of itself. Other than the US Senate, there aren’t too many other jobs that 84 year olds do, especially not something with the stress and long hours like a head football coach. I imagine he’s more of a figurehead at this point, which is all the more reason to try to move on, sort of like what FSU did with Bobby Bowden. But hopefully PSU will handle it better.
    I understand his perspective is probably, “what am I supposed to do…retire, sit around and watch daytime TV for the rest of my life, and then die quietly?” But really outside of a season here or there, this team has been afterthought on the national stage since the great 1994 team.
    Certainly his age has to hurt in recruiting. Players can’t be sure he’ll still be there when they are seniors. You know every other Big 10 coach uses that argument to sway players who are considering PSU. And I do think playing for a coach with his offensive philosophy has hurt when it comes to recruiting elite QBs. They’ve really only had a few good ones since Blackledge. Remember when he wanted to turn Jim Kelly into a LB.

  13. Joepa should coach as long as he wants to but…
    If he is indeed in poor health I think He owes it to his family to stepdown and spend time with them. As to the Dungy rumors, he would fit right in, He and Joe are very similar in their Coaching Philosophies. He would certainly change penn state football for the better. We’d be getting alot more four and five star recruits consistantly, rather than the 3 stars we get now with the occasional 4 or rare five star recruit

  14. I don’t understand why people think PSU is going to get better when Paterno retires. He is probably the most valuable NCAA-friendly recruiting tool ever. I would expect the quality of their incoming classes to decline significantly when he’s gone.

  15. As a Penn State Alumnus, I must say that if any of this is true, it is very sad. Joe Paterno is a living legend, and a true example not only as a coach but as a human being. He and his wife have donated millions and millions of dollars to the University, basically funded a brand new library. I’ve had the absolute pleasure of meeting both of them several times and a kinder pair you will not find. I will forever consider Joe the head coach, whether there or not. I can only hope that if this it, the university does it with the utmost respect that this wonderful man deserves. I can’t even fathom the thought of a Joe-less sideline. He is and will forever be Penn State Football.

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