No Paterno vs. Temple

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., November 9, 2006 – Penn State football coach Joe Paterno summoned the coaching staff to his hospital room this morning to review final plans for the Temple game and then told them he will not coach on Saturday.

After asking the coaching staff if the team was ready, he said, "you guys know what you're doing, and what we've mapped out. I don't need to be there creating a distraction. Enough on me; let's get back to football."

Coach Paterno said he would not resist Dr. Wayne Sebastinelli's desire that he not coach Saturday because he did not want to jeopardize his recovery, with his condition having improved each day since Sunday's surgery on his left leg. He told the staff that it was better to make the decision today before it got any closer to game day, when he might be more tempted to talk himself into pushing too far.

Paterno then instructed Tom Bradley to oversee the defense, Galen Hall the offense, and the special teams coaches to run their assigned areas. "If a game decision needs to made beyond that, talk it out and if you can't agree, Tom will be the tie-breaker, because he has been around the longest," Paterno said.

Paterno made the coaching staff aware of the significance of getting into a New Year's Day bowl game against a ranked opponent from the Southeastern Conference. "Let's take a look at the big picture of what could lie ahead….get the next two."

Plans for Paterno's level of involvement for the final regular season game against Michigan State (Nov. 18, 12:00 p.m.) will be determined next week.

The Temple game will be just the third contest Paterno has missed during his legendary 57-year career at Penn State. He has been on the sideline for 638 of the Nittany Lions' 640 games since 1950 and owns a mark of 360-121-3 during his 41 seasons as head coach. As an assistant coach, he missed the 1955 game at Army when his father, Angelo, died. As head coach in 1977, Joe and Sue Paterno's son, David, was involved in a serious trampoline accident the day before the Lions' game at Syracuse and Paterno did not attend the contest.

Coaches Bradley and Hall will continue to handle media responsibilities for the team. Co-captains Levi Brown and Paul Posluszny will lead the team onto the field under the direction of Tom Venturino, Director of Football Operations.

Coach Paterno plans on participating in a taped interview Saturday on the Penn State Radio Network ‘s Joe Paterno Pre-Game Show Presented by Sovereign Bank, which follows The Penn State Tailgate Show Presented by Aeropostale at 2:00 p.m. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. against the Owls. The Temple game will air on ESPN Regional, the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com, the official website of Penn State Athletics.

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