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Paterno's recruiting comments make national news

June 30, 2008 - Cory Giger

What I thought was an interesting but not incredibly newsy story from this past weekend turned up all over the Internet and eventually found its way to ESPN on Tuesday. The story offers great proof that when Joe Paterno's future is brought up -- especially now with him in the final year of his contract -- everyone pays attention.

The major point of the story is summed up in this quote:

"Mr. Paterno told me himself that his replacement is already within the staff, so he'll just bring one new guy in and bump everybody up in the ranks," linebacker recruit Mike Yancich said.

It's not highly unusual Paterno would make this kind of promise to recruits. He apparently has been doing so for years. But the timing is interesting because this is the final year of JoePa's contract.

That makes a statement like the one above much more pertinent now than ever before.

What else is Paterno supposed to say, you might ask? He's simply trying to protect his program by at least showing there will be some semblance of a succession plan.

Or so one line of thinking goes.

Personally, I don't think it's ever a good idea to make promises unless you know for sure you can keep them. I can't believe Paterno has any such assurances yet from the PSU administration.

I'm proud the story made national news, and it brought the Mirror some great exposure. Still, I must admit I'm stunned at how it took on a life of its own around the country. Most of us who cover PSU football already knew recruits were being told these kinds of things, but again, with this being the final year of Paterno's contract, any tidbit of information like this can generate a tremendous amount of interest.

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