It has been more than three years since Penn State Nittany Lions coaching legend Joe Paterno was removed from his job in State College. Despite the way things came crashing down at the end of his tenure, there are plenty of fans who still support their beloved JoePa.
Not only is it the fans who still support the late coach, but his former peers.
One of those men currently in the coaching game who has sympathy for Joe Paterno is South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier.
Spurrier voiced his opinion during an interview with The State.
The Ol’ Ball Coach, now 70, was asked about his thoughts on coaches who were still leading teams in their 70’s when he was a fresh-faced 50 year old in the game.
“Well, there weren’t many. There weren’t many because just nobody did it. Nobody lasted that long, and most of the time they didn’t last that long because at some point they quit winning as much as they used to win,” Spurrier told The State.
“Bobby Bowden, of course, went a long time, and they finally had to tell him, ‘You’re finished.’ Joe Paterno was still there. That was very unfortunate what happened up there. I still think he got a bad deal, got a terrible deal.
“He did what the head coach is supposed to do. He told the athletic director, and (the AD) and the president let it die down I guess, and of course it flared up later. He was a good guy, a good friend. I liked him.”
Ultimately, Joe Paterno was held accountable and removed from his position as the Penn State head coach.
After being removed as the Nittany Lions coach, Paterno was stipped of 111 career wins by the NCAA. That removed JoePa from his place atop the all-time wins list.
The good news for Paterno supporters, however, is that those wins were restored earlier this year and he is once again the all-time winningest coach in D-1 college football history.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Paul Myerberg-USA TODAY Sports