NCF Nation: Scott Paterno

Penn State will honor the late Joe Paterno in some way this fall. The school also doesn't want to be sued by Paterno's family because of the way it fired the legendary coach in November.

The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News reports Penn State officials offered to rename Beaver Stadium after Paterno in hopes of receiving a full release from the family, which would prevent them from suing the school or publicly criticizing the situation. Penn State's informal proposal following Paterno's death also included an apology for how Paterno was fired (over the phone) and the honoring of his contract with the school, which took place late last week.

But Paterno's family declined the stadium naming offer. Joe Paterno never wanted it when he was alive.

From the Patriot-News:
A source close to the Paterno family says renaming the field would still be "a tremendous and humbling honor," but it "has always been a fan-driven matter. It was never important to Joe."

Paterno was uncomfortable with the statue of him placed outside Beaver Stadium, which depicted him holding is index finger in a No. 1 salute. A source told The Patriot-News, "The idea he'd be out in front of that stadium with a No. 1 finger is crazy. He always showed a closed fist."

Tensions remain between Paterno's family and the university, as confirmed in a statement issued Friday by the family that took issue with claims that it had reached a settlement with the school.

The field/stadium renaming plan remains popular among many Penn State fans. A father and son circulated a petition during the Blue-White festivities this week that called for the field at Beaver Stadium to be named after Paterno. According to The Patriot-News, two of Paterno's sons, Jay and Scott, signed off on the petition, which received close to 60,000 signatures before the Blue-White Game. Paterno's family would agree to the naming if it was done for the fans.

It's clear the ongoing tension makes any tribute to Paterno an especially delicate issue.

What's your take? Send your responses here.

More sad news out of State College on Friday as Scott Paterno says his father, former Penn State coach Joe Paterno, has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Fortunately, the form of cancer is treatable, and Scott Paterno said in a statement to the AP that Joe's doctors are "optimistic he will make a full recovery." Paterno turns 85 on Dec. 21.

Doctors made the diagnosis last weekend after Joe Paterno went in for a follow-up visit for a bronchial illness.
"As everyone can appreciate, this is a deeply personal matter for my parents, and we simply ask that his privacy be respected as he proceeds with treatment," Scott Paterno said in a brief statement.

Penn State's Board of Trustees fired Paterno last Wednesday in the wake of the sex-abuse scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Paterno had announced earlier in the day that he would retire at the end of the season.

It's good to hear Joe is expected to make a full recovery. I'm sure Penn State interim coach Tom Bradley will inform the players of the news, if he hasn't already. It's sure to stir even more emotions for a team that has been through a lot in the past two weeks.
Joe Paterno's son, Scott, issued the following statement Friday night on behalf of his father.

It reads:
I have been asked by my father to make a brief statement on his behalf.
Like everyone who has watched this story unfold, my father is experiencing a range of powerful emotions. He is absolutely distraught over what happened to the children and their families. He also wants very much to speak publicly and answer questions.
At this stage, however, he has no choice but to be patient and defer to the legal process. He cooperated fully with the Grand Jury and he will continue to cooperate with the investigation as we move forward.
On behalf of my father, I have retained Wick Sollers at the law firm of King and Spalding. My father's desire is for the truth to be uncovered and he will work with his lawyers to that end. Going forward, Mr. Sollers has directed my father, our family and everyone associated with us to make no further public statements and to respond to no media inquiries. We will honor this request. Accordingly, all requests for comments or other information should be directed to Mr. Sollers.

So the wait to hear from JoePa will continue ...
Many of you have seen it already, but in case you haven't, The New York Times is reporting that Penn State's trustees are discussing the departure of Joe Paterno and how to handle the coach's exit.

The newspaper reports Paterno's tenure will be over in days or weeks, and he definitely will not be back next season. Paterno's contract runs out after the season.

Paterno's son, Scott, told reporters that his father hasn't been asked to step down and will oversee the team during practice Tuesday afternoon. Scott Paterno said his father plans to coach No. 12 Penn State on Saturday against Nebraska, and that JoePa's job remains "status quo."

A high-ranking Penn State official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that support for Paterno is eroding among the school's board of trustees. The person said a decision could come before the Board of Trustees' scheduled meeting Friday.

It will be interesting to see if Paterno will address the media at some point in the next day or so. There are conflicting reports about whether he'll hold a news conference after Penn State's administration canceled Tuesday's media appearances.

The Big Ten said there's no violation for coaches not appearing on its weekly teleconference. Coaches aren't required to appear.

More to come ...

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