Joe Paterno, better known as Joe Pa, is in his 45th year as coach at Penn State. Yes, he is old, but he is not dead. Questions continually dog him about possible retirement.
Joe Pa is a tough guy. He appears crusty with the media folks. I often wonder what it would be like to cover him and his program.
But regardless of your thoughts and feelings on Paterno, he is a coaching survivor and he deserves to retire when he see necessary. I think Joe Pa might want to die on the football field, however.
He admits he doesn't do the actually coaching he once did. That is not a surprise. But the buck still stops with him. Besides being the football coach at Penn State, he IS Penn State. The guy means a lot to his university, college football and higher education in general.
I, too, thought a few years back he should retire. The Lions were slipping and the cries for Joe Pa's retirement were loud.
But I have changed my mind. I think Bobby Bowden's situation at Florida State helped change my view. Joe Pa is still winning and still having a major impact on Penn State. He will know when the fire or health tells him to depart.
Besides where would college football be without his demeanor and old style looks?