rip-joe-paterno

Joe Paterno, the man who for decades was synonymous with Penn State football and was known by the college football world as just “JoePa”, has died. Paterno, 85, had been receiving chemotherapy as part of his treatment for lung cancer, and complications from that treatment claimed the longtime Penn State coach’s life on Saturday.

Paterno was the head coach of Penn State for 46 seasons before being fired in November as his role in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal came under greater scrutiny. Combined with the time he spent as an assistant, Paterno spent a total of 61 years on the Penn State sidelines. He left behind a legacy that, on the field of play, was unparalleled in Division I football. Paterno holds the all-time Division I record for football coaching wins with a 409-136-3 record, and he won two national championships while going undefeated in five different seasons.

The local paper, the Harrisburg Patriot-News, is not reporting this yet. We’ll post as soon as we hear it. EDIT: Now they are, but saying it’s not confirmed.  EDIT 2: The family is reportedly denying it.

EDIT 3: CBS updated their report, still claiming he died but running a denial. 

Joe Paterno, the man who for decades was synonymous with Penn State football and was known by the college football world as just “JoePa”, has died, according to Penn State student website Onward State. Onward State is reporting that the Penn State players were notified of Paterno’s passing via email. Paterno, 85, had been receiving chemotherapy as part of his treatment for lung cancer.

However, Paterno family spokesperson Dan McGinn told a New York Times reporter that the report is “absolutely not true.”

It is with great sadness that we announce that Joe Paterno passed away earlier today. His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled.

He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community.

As Josh pointed out, the AP story was mostly about the scandal. The statement seems to be entirely about the man. If you ask us, we’d rather make this about the man — at least for today.