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Penn State's Paterno mum on Bowden situation

10/6/2009



Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

At 82 years old, Penn State head coach Joe Paterno has several advantages over his younger colleagues.

For example, Paterno can say he has no idea what's going with Bobby Bowden and Florida State even though it's the top news story in college football at the moment. As a guy who doesn't own a cell phone, doesn't scour the Web and doesn't tweet, or "tweedle-doo," as he called it at Big Ten preseason media day, Paterno can make a convincing case that he's out of touch with the 24-hour news cycle.

And that's exactly what he did Tuesday when asked about the calls for Bowden to retire after 33-plus seasons at Florida State.

"Honest to goodness, I don't know what's going on," Paterno said on the Big Ten coaches call. "I don't get to read the papers. ... So I don't know what's going on down there. So rather than make a comment that I'm not really sure is accurate, I just don't know what to tell you. I hope it works out for Bobby, but that's all I can say."

Paterno last spent time with Bowden during a Nike function in February and has talked to the 79-year-old several times since then. Paterno leads Bowden 387-384 in the all-time coaching victories list.

"Bobby's been a great coach," Paterno said, "one of the greatest coaches we've ever had in college football. ... What's going on now, I really don't know."

It's not a stretch to suggest Paterno knows more about what's going on in Tallahassee than he's willing to admit, but he's probably smart not to weigh in just yet.