August 2, 2010

Joe Paterno's 2010 Big Ten Media Day Press Conference Video & Transcript

This is pretty close to verbatim, but if a word or two is off, please forgive me.

In case you missed it, or couldn't get the live feed where you were, here is a transcript of Joe Paterno's press conference from the 2010 Big Ten Media Day today.


Paterno: I'm all set, I hope. It's good to be here, and I don't want to get into a long statement. I'm sure you got some questions you'd rather get the answers to than to hear me talk. So I'll just take questions.

Q: (USA Today) I followed your career for a long time. And I'm thinking you're going to be Penn State's coach until the day you die. What do you think about that? (laughter from the press corps)

Paterno: Is that wishful thinking or what. No, I really don't think about that. I just... I'm enjoying it. I like to coach. I had a little bout earlier in the year. I made a big deal out of it. But I feel really good, and as long as I enjoy it I'll continue to coach. Unless I don't think I could do a good job, or someone else. But we could talk about that later. But now I have no plans whatsoever whether I'm going to go another year, two years, five years. We're just going to hopefully have a good year this year.

Q: That was intestinal issues, is that right?

Paterno: Pardon me?

Q: You had intestinal issues this past spring?

Paterno: Oh, I won't get into that.

Q: I understand that you weren't on the road as much...

Paterno: It was a little below the intestines. (laughter from the press corps) I really don't want to get into it.

Q: I understand that you were on the road less for recruiting. At what point do these things hurt recruiting for your program.

Paterno: Well I don't know that it's hurt our recruiting, to be frank with you. Because we're still in the middle of trying to get a couple of key people that would make a difference. Our problem is with numbers, and that's what people look at, and we don't have that many scholarships available. As you look at our roster, you'll find out that we have a lot of walk-on kids, but as of... as far as scholarship kids, we font' lose a lot of kids so we really can't... couldn't go out and get 18, 19, 20 kids this year. So we want to go get people fill in where we need them, and hopefully make ourselves a little better. I think we're doing alright. I really do.

Q (new reporter): Joe, I'm sure you remember your first Big Ten Media Days as the new kid on the blog with Penn State. I think Tom Osborne is here. What are your thoughts on Nebraska coming in with the conference expansion, and your thoughts on them. You have a bit of history with Nebraska.

Paterno: We have played Nebraska before we got in the big ten, and had some great games with them. and i have a lot of respect for tom and the university of Nebraska. so i think it's a really good addition to the big ten, and we're looking forward to being a part of it. i actually coached as an assistant coach long before, not long before, but when (name) was coaching out there and they beat us out there. they had a great running back, i think this name was Billy Reynolds, was one of the best backs in the nation. but that's going back in the 50s some time in there. so we've had a good relationship with them. so it was good to see them get in the big ten. and I'm looking forward to spending some time with tom, since he's here, maybe we can visit a little bit.

Q: Joe, do you remain hopeful that the big ten will add a couple more teams from the east coast, some of the teams that were mentioned earlier.

Paterno: Well, I could get up here and have a little fun with Commissioner Delaney and tell'em where exactly we aught to go. after all, i have all the answers. I think, really, that the Nebraska thing was a real good move for the big ten. now, whether we need a few2 more schools, i think we leave that in the hands of Jim and the people who are going around talking to different people and some investigating. Obviously, if they find that it's in the best interest for the Big Ten, i would hope that we would be looking at the schools maybe in the east. Because it would certainly be a good move for us, particularly help us in recruiting, television, and all those kinds of things that are pluses when you expand as we have with Nebraska. but i think that's up to some other people right now.

Q: Coach, do you expect to have to change your preparation for fall camp, given your health over the summer, and do you expect to be on the sidelines for every game this fall.

Paterno: You know, I can't... what did mark twain said, "rumors of my death has been over-exaggerated?" I used to know more about that, but I didn't lose any time, as I said. The problem I had was not having control of some things I had to be careful that i didn't get myself in a position where I would embarrass myself. but as far as looking at tapes and talking to the kids, and knowing what getting ready for different things, there was really no difference, except that I couldn't make as many public appearances because of the fact that I could be standing here and have to get up and leave. nobody obviously would want to be in that position. so I don't... I don't see it being any different. I think I'm... I hope I'm ready to go. I think I am.

Q: Coach, the Sept. 11 game against Alabama. that's a game you don't have to play, but you scheduled it. fans are very excited about it. can you tell us how you fell about playing that game.

Paterno: About playing Alabama at Alabama. well, we've been down there a couple times. In fact we've had some luck down there, when we've played them in-season. obviously, every year is different. the Alabama team is a good football team. if not the best team around. I don't' know. but I think its' a good game early. I have a young team. obviously we've got some growing up to do. And I think to be able to go with a bunch of kids to go down there an play the defending national champion on the road before a very hostile crowd, it'll be a good experience, and I think we'll be a better football team for it. So I'm not... we had to open up with Youngstown. I know some people will make some remarks about that,it's still a tough opening football game when you have a young football team and you've got a quarterback that hasn't played much football. So it's going to be interesting, and A hope we'll be able to play well and learn from it.

Q: What's your opinion as far as divisions go, if the big ten chooses to do that. and where Penn State would end up in a division.

Paterno: Oh boy, you know obviously when Nebraska got in the big ten and we started talking about a championship game. and i think they're talking about trying to have a championship game as early as a year or two from now, you start saying well "who's going to be here, you got some traditions like that." I'm just glad i don't have to make that kind of decisions. i think there's a lot of different combination that would be good and which put us in a position where we could have a team that would be a champions of the big ten and be in a position to be national champs. but what the makeup of each division, i haven't been able to give it that much thought. and there again, you know... we're actually the new kids on the block in this thing. and there are some old rivalries and some traditions and things that have to go into this. and i have a lot of confidence that the people who are going to make the decision will you know do a good job and come up with something that works for the big ten.

Q: Coaches seem to keep getting younger and younger, particularly in college football. In an age where communication is so important, how do you communicate with these kids on campus. do you have much one-on-one still, or do you rely on your capable assistants for that?

Paterno: Well without getting into a recruiting schpeil, i think it's easier to do in a town like state college because you know I'm literally a 15 minute walk from the office, three blocks away from the campus. we're right down from one of the town parks, and kids walk by my house every day. I horse around with them a bit. and I've tried to stay active in the affairs, and my wife has stayed very active in the university with the affairs. I'm around young people all the time, so I horse around with hem, have a couple laughs with them, the whole bit. and that hopefully keeps you young, so I don't look at it quite that way. I think your point about the coaches being younger these days is probably true, but I don't think that's because the coaches want to be there. I think the fact that so many people have been allowed to have too much to say about who the coach should be--trustees and people who give you money-- when I first started, when i first became head coach--and i still do-=-i go around talking to people about money, and I'll tell them, you know "I want your money, but i don't want your two cents." (laughter) and I've tried to stick by that, and I think that's what's happened to a lot of young coaches, they Have to get some money raised and unfortunately there are people who want to have their two cents involved and the thing. so we've had to turn over some of the really good coaches.

Q: I've wondered it you've considered what it will mean to win 400, when you get there, just to be close to Eddie Robinson. I'm sure you knew him well, and what he would be thinking right now.

Paterno: well there against i really haven't thought about it. Eddie Robinson was one of the great people that I've known in coaching. Eddie and i were down in Washington some times to talk to some government people about some problems we had, and i always felt that the African American cultures, such as Jake Gaither and Eddie and some others, had never gotten the recognition, or have gotten the financial rewards so many of us have gotten out of it. so i... the Eddie part of it, I've thought some of. When I'm down and looking up, are they going to 399 on top of me, or are they going to put 401? Who the hell cares. I won't know. (laughter)

Q: I noticed you said to Richie a few weeks ago, when they named your successor that they come to you with maybe two or three names and ask you "what do you think?" Has any kind of framework been put together in that way. has Dr. Spanier come to you, and are you optimistic that they will ask you your opinion on the successor. what do you think will happen with that?

Paterno: I think they would. I'm not... the question is whether they would ask my opinion on a successor. i would hope they sit down. i don't expect to name it. if i decide to get out of coaching, whenever that may be, i would hope that when they stat looking at somebody to succeed me, someone to be head coach, if they did nothing but throw something out to "hey we're thinking of so and so" and give me an opportunity to say I think that's a good choice, or hey i think you better take a look at this,or I'm not sure he's the best guy, or have you taken a look at that guy. I'm hoping there's some kind of dialogue, but there's no commitment.

Thanks guys, we'll see you later.

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1 comment:

  1. Do you think Joe is going to audition for the lead role in the new movie "Weekend at Bernie's"

    He looks like is ready to play the part!