For Jay Paterno, this is one of the most difficult times of the year.
The former Penn State assistant and son of late Nittany Lion coach Joe Paterno, “JayPa” has not coached a game since PSU lost to Houston in the TicketCity Bowl to end a 2011 season that was memorable for all of the wrong reasons.
Nearly a half a decade removed from that game, his days are now crammed full of different projects (more on this later). But every August, when college football teams are knee deep in preparations for the upcoming season, he remembers what that was like.
“Even all these years later, I'm still itching to get back into it,” he said. “I think once this lawsuit stuff is behind us, those doors will start to open again. I've had some discussions with a lot of people about that, and that seems to be one of the big things. And that's fine — I get that and I completely understand it. But it is tough not to be a part of it. It's tough to watch the football season start to unfold and realize that you could still play a role in having an impact on people's lives.”
You’ve surely heard about the lawsuit in question, the one the Paterno family (and others) filed against the NCAA in May of 2013. The suit claims the NCAA, via the Freeh Report that led to harsh sanctions against the PSU football program, unfairly defamed Joe Paterno.
With the suit expected to go to trial relatively soon, we thought Jay Paterno would make the perfect guest for the debut of our FOS Football Podcast. He recently took about 30 minutes to talk about…
• The lawsuit and why the family continues to pursue it long after most major sanctions against Penn State have been wiped out. (00:54)
• The Joe Paterno statue. (05:00)
• His hopes of getting back into college coaching. (07:20)
• Where he spent part of his spring (you might be surprised). (09:00)
• How closely he watches the current Penn State team. (10:41)
• His thoughts on the Penn State offense, last year and moving forward. (11:45)
• How his dad would have dealt with the explosion of social media. (18:40)
• The different projects that are occupying his time these days. (21:25).
• The new Joe Paterno Light Lager. (23:05)