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…
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.