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Will This Be JoePa’s Last Season ?

by @ 8:36 am on April 11, 2008. Filed under College Sports, Sports

Joe Paterno has been Head Coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions since 1966, and he’s coaching college football since 1950.

Now, there are some indications that 2008 might just be his last season:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP)—Joe Paterno and his boss agree: The 81-year-old football coach doesn’t need a new contract to keep his job at Penn State.

Paterno’s current contract is up at the end of the 2008 season, yet that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of his record-setting tenure leading the Nittany Lions.

University president Graham Spanier told The Associated Press in an e-mail that both the school and Paterno agree that a contract isn’t necessary for the man entering his 43rd season as Penn State coach. The sides agreed to meet, as they have in the past, at the end of the season to discuss the future.

“We are in agreement that a contract would have little practicality given Coach Paterno’s seniority. None of us see that as necessary,” Spanier wrote in the e-mail Wednesday night in response to a request for an update from the AP.

Asked Thursday to clarify the arrangement, Spanier replied in a follow-up message, “There will not be a new contract. We have an understanding that a contract is not necessary or practical.

No official word, of course, but there has been speculation for years about when Paterno might lead, and this would certainly give him an out if he wanted it.

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