Sunday, November 05, 2006

Health Is More Important Than Coaching

Anybody who saw Joe Paterno being carted off Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday had to feel for the 79-year-old Penn State coach. Paterno suffered an injury to his left knee on the fourth play of the second half of a 13-3 loss to Wisconsin when Nittany Lion tight end Andrew Quarless rolled into the coach. Although defensive coordinator Tom Bradley tried to be lighthearted about Paterno's condition — "I told him he's not playing those low blocks like he used to." — you have to worry about the severity of the injury. If Paterno has a serious knee injury, the question becomes this: Is it wise for Paterno to keep coaching? We say this out of concern for Paterno, noting that this is the second game he has left early. You'll recall his departure at Ohio State, attributed to a flu bug, and his reemergence wearing a different pair of pants. If Paterno's knee injury is serious, he likely won't be back on the sideline this season, and he won't be active on the recruiting circuit because he would be facing a long rehab. The priority becomes Paterno's health and frankly, coaching should come second.
Add Paterno: Penn State officials also asked for and received an apology from ABC after analyst Craig James, right, applauded Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema for exploiting a loophole in the 3-2-5-e rule that is designed to shorten games. The move infuriated Paterno and James applauded Bielema's smarts: "Way to go, coach Bielema — give it to the old fart."
Update: Here is the YouTube video of James calling Paterno and "old fart":

1 comment:

Penn State Football said...

Paterno suffered an injury to his left knee on the fourth play of the second half of a 13-3 loss to Wisconsin when Nittany Lion tight end Andrew Quarless rolled into the coach.

No, it wasn't Quarless. As noted in the Chicago Tribune story you linked to, it was Wisconsin linebacker DeAndre Levy.

If Paterno's knee injury is serious, he likely won't be back on the sideline this season, and he won't be active on the recruiting circuit because he would be facing a long rehab.

By NCAA rules a head coach can make only one in-home visit to each recruit. So Joe doesn't pound "the recruiting circuit" nearly as hard as his assistants. Though the sight of a gimpy head coach would not make us more attractive to high school kids.