The New Year’s Day Outback Bowl against the University of Florida will not be his final game as the football coach of Penn State, Joe Paterno said again this week.
The 84-year-old Paterno has had to deal with constant rumors about his supposedly ill health and the theory that he will retire after the bowl game. While Florida’s Urban Meyer, who is 38 years younger than Paterno, will be stepping down as coach of the Gators, Paterno said he’ll be back in 2011 for his 46th season as head coach.
“I’m different than Urban,” Paterno said. “I’ve got people calling up saying, ‘When the hell are you getting out?’ …People think I’m going to quit this year or next year. I haven’t even thought about it. I, honest to goodness, have not thought of it. I don’t see any reason to get out of it. I feel great.”
There had been numerous rumors that Paterno was recently admitted to a hospital in Hershey, Pa. Paterno, who enters the bowl game with 401 career wins, said he “got a kick out of” hearing that before the Nittany Lions had left for Florida.
“In State College last week, someone said I was down at Hershey (Medical Center). Geez, Hershey hospital? I was chewing out somebody for being late to a meeting,” JoePa said.
Paterno has earned 37 bowl bids at PSU, won two national championships and is 58-18 in his last six seasons. His contract runs through 2011. He recently celebrated his 84th birthday by holding two practices.
“Who started the crazy rumors?” Paterno’s wife Sue said. “He’s fine. No one has to identify who starts it. We don’t even know where it starts.”
Penn State opened as a 7-point underdog for the Outback Bowl on Bodog’s NCAA football odds.
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Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG) is the exclusive licensee of the “Bodog” brand for online gaming services in the United States and is led by Alwyn Morris, Olympic gold medalist, Order of Canada recipient, noted Canadian sportsman, First Nations leader and former Associate Director for the Mohawk Council of Chiefs in Kahnawake. MMGG is located in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake – part of the seven communities that make up the Mohawk Nation – just outside Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission to offer gaming services from Kahnawake to users worldwide. For more information, visit www.morrismohawk.com.
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