Penn State's Joe Paterno, who has fallen out of favor with university president Graham Spanier and key trustees, discussed retirement at a recent Nike coaches gathering with Purdue's Joe Tiller.
Tiller is stepping down at the end of the 2008 season and his successor has already been named. Danny Hope left his job at Eastern Kentucky and will serve on Tiller's staff in the transition season.
"He was asking me 'Why?' and 'Who?' and 'How?' " Tiller said. "He didn't really tip his hand. But he did ask me 'Who's this guy?' and 'Why did I like him?' and 'Why now?' and those types of things.
"He didn't say, 'I'm thinking about this or I've got to do this.' But, after it had been announced, he seemed to be curious."
Paterno, 81 and in the last year of this contract, reportedly wants defensive coordinator Tom Bradley to be his successor and security for the rest of his staff. Spanier, who was recently awarded firepower with a five-year extension, wants a national search for the next coach. The president appears to be in no rush to address the stalemate.
Spanier, in an email response to a question of whether other teams' succession plans would influence Penn State's thinking, wrote: "Coach Paterno's current contract goes to 2008 and we are not working under anyone else's time frame."
Thanks to Fan Blogs and Black Shoe Diaries.