Thursday, May 29, 2008
The Phanatic Magazine
A source told The Phanatic Magazine Thursday that a succession plan to replace Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno is being ironed out.
The man in the middle of this plan -- Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano.
The source told The Phanatic Magazine that Paterno's recent poor health and a divided board of trustees over the program's future has led University President Graham Spanier down this path.
It is unclear, according to the source, whether Paterno or the program will issue a statement about the plan or clarify that this is Paterno's final season at Penn State.
The source also stated that the university, by NCAA by-laws, can not have any official contact with Schiano, who is under contract at Rutgers, but has put out feelers to gauge Schiano's interest.
That interest, according to a source, appears to be substantial and mutual.
Barring a last-minute power struggle or change of heart, the source indicated that this will be Paterno's last season in Happy Valley, and that Penn State would move quickly after Schiano at season's end.
The rest of the staff is a mystery. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson, Sr. and defensive coordinator Tom Bradley have scored major recruiting victories in recent years, with Johnson bringing in a host of Maryland prospects for the Class of 2009.
That led many surrounding the program to assume either Bradley or Johnson, Sr. would take over once Paterno retired, while the other (particularly in Johnson, Sr.'s case) became the right-hand man, defensive coaching staff leader and head of recruiting.
That is not the case, according to the source, who maintains the board of trustees would rather go outside the program while attempting to maintain some Penn State ties.
That leads directly to Schiano.