TAMPA, Fla. (KDKA/AP) — After Penn State’s loss to the Florida Gators in the Outback Bowl, Joe Paterno is now turning his attention to recruiting.
JoePa turned 84 while in Florida with his team preparing the bowl game. He is expected to return to the sidelines for his 46th season as head coach of the Nittany Lions.
Before the bowl game, rumors surfaced that Paterno would step down after this season because of heath reasons. Those rumors got Paterno’s wife to speak publicly about them. She said they were “just lies.”
He says the rumors will not affect the approach Penn State takes with recruiting high school athletes. Paterno, who has a list of prospects for the program, has never received questions from them about his future.
Paterno said, “I don’t get the question. They may ask the assistant coaches, I don’t know, but I just tell them: ‘Hey, what you’re looking at is what you’re going to get.’ The program is going to be here.”
“Nobody can predict what (will happen). Would you have predicted what happened at Pitt?” he added, referring to the Panthers dismissal of newly-hired coach Mike Haywood because of an arrest on a domestic violence charge. “There’s no guarantee on anything, but I intend to be here, and I intend to work hard at recruiting.”
Paterno, who is signed through the 2011 season, does not have any plans to retire.
According to Paterno, Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley has not talked to him about a possible succession plan.