Paterno family: Joe's health 'is fine'

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TAMPA, Fla. -- Sue Paterno is fed up with all the rumors about her Hall of Fame coach and husband.

"It's just lies," Sue said Monday.

Word has been circulating for weeks on the Internet that serious health problems would force Paterno to retire after Saturday's Outback Bowl game against Florida.

Sue denied that, saying her husband's health "is fine."

But, when asked if the Outback Bowl would be his final game, she said: "We haven't talked about it."

Paterno's daughter, Mary Kay Hort, said: "It is not his planned last game."

Paterno, 84, is the winningest coach in Division I-A history with 401 victories.

Four days before the Nov. 27 regular-season finale, he said he planned to return for his 46th season as the Nittany Lions' coach in 2011.

But Paterno, whose three-year contract expires at the end of next season, admitted then the decision would not entirely be his.

Asked before the Ladies Luncheon at Roy's Restaurant Monday if her husband has met with Penn State administrators about his future, Sue said: "No."

Twenty-four of the 29 Paterno family members have gathered here this week for the New Year's Day game. There has been little or no talk about this possibly being Paterno's last game.

"Since he was 65, that's been the big question," Sue said in reference to a retirement question.

"Everybody's been saying he's going to retire," Hort said. "Some day, somebody might get it right."

Kelley Paterno, the wife of quarterbacks coach Jay, summed up the frustration the Paterno family has been feeling.

"The story becomes a story, but there's no story," she said. "And that becomes a story, that there's no story."


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