"If I've got to have a contract to keep my job here, I'm in the wrong place," Joe Paterno said.
Simply put, the Penn State coach might be in the wrong place.
Paterno talked about his contract situation over the weekend and claimed to be oblivious to speculation that this season will be his last. The 81-year-old Paterno is entering his 43rd season as Nittany Lion coach and his contract expires after the 2008 season.
"I don't even care if I get a contract," Paterno said.
A trustee told the Philadelphia Inquirer: "The university is fine with that, too, because they don't want to give him a contract, either."
The battle lines are clearly drawn with no hint of compromise on the horizon.
Paterno acknowledged he is spending more time working at home these days.
"I can walk home in 15 minutes," he said. "I can drive home in five minutes. When I leave you guys, I'll have bourbon in five minutes. There's no reason for me to be here. I have my own fax at home, my own telephone at home. I got all my tapes there. ... I can get so much more done at home.
"I hate to say this, but to a lot of people, I'm a celebrity. And, when they come in town, you'd be amazed how many people who may be Ohio State fans or Michigan fans and they're passing through and they stop in and say, 'Can we get our picture taken, or can you autograph this for me?' I can't get my work done."