Spurrier, Saban statements on Paterno

January, 22, 2012
1/22/12
3:15
PM ET
Some more reaction to Joe Paterno's passing from around college football ...

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier had this to say:
"I have the utmost respect and admiration for Joe Paterno. I've coached around 300 college games and only once when I've met the other coach at midfield prior to the game have I asked a photographer to take a picture of me with the other coach. That happened in the Citrus Bowl after the '97 season when we were playing Penn State. I had one of our university photographers take the picture with me and Coach Paterno, and I still have that photo in the den at my house. That's the admiration I have for Joe Paterno.

"It was sad how it ended, but he was a great person and coach."

Alabama coach Nick Saban was interviewed by ESPN's "SportsCenter" about Paterno today, and this is a snippet of what he said:
"Joe Paterno gave his life to college football. He gave his life to the players and college football.

"Not just at Penn State, but when I was the head coach at Michigan State, we had a player who could get a sixth year because of an injury, and Joe was the head of the committee. He got it done for the player, and that player actually ran a touchdown against them that could have cost them the game later that season.

"But never I never doubted with him that he was going to do what was best for college football, and the players that played it, and I think that should be his legacy. ...

"Probably as much as anything what we all try to get as coaches, a well-disciplined team that gives tremendous effort, plays physical, has the ability to execute down-in and down-out and play winning football. And when you played Joe's teams, that's exactly what you were playing against. They always had real good athletes, but to me it was the level they performed at that was indicative of the kind of program that he ran, the kind of influence that he had on the players. ...

"It's just too bad for everyone that someone who had done so much for college football, his legacy would really end. Maybe the message that everyone out there could learn from this is that assistant coaches, players, everybody involved in programs have a responsibility and obligation to do the right things for the institutions, because people remember Joe Paterno as part of this more than they do anyone else.

"That may be the shame of it all. Maybe he made a mistake in how he managed it, but really wasn't the guy who did the wrongdoing. But all of us need to understand that whatever profession we're in, sometimes the people in charge can really suffer just as much as the people who made the wrong choices and decisions."

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