Paterno, 80, hasn't given much thought to successor
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno are the two winningest coaches in Division I-A history.
Bowden has 373 career victories, two more than Paterno.
Earlier this week, Bowden agreed to a succession plan that will allow Florida State offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher to replace Bowden when he retires.
Bowden, 78, intends to return for his 33rd season next year, but as part of his rollover contract, he has the option to stay longer.
Paterno, who will be 81 Dec. 21, will enter the final year of his four-year contract next season.
- Who: Penn State (8-4) vs. Texas A&M (7-5)
- When: 7 p.m. Dec. 29
- Where: Alamodome, San Antonio.
- TV: ESPN.
He has been openly campaigning for a contract extension since the end of the regular season but admitted yesterday that there is no succession plan for him once he steps down.
"I ought to call Bobby and see when he's gonna roll over," Paterno said, jokingly.
Guido D'Elia, director of communications and branding of football, said there have been no contract talks yet between Paterno and the university.
"I haven't even thought of it," said Paterno, who is completing his 42nd season. "I suppose it's up to them how they want to handle it. It's probably up to them whether they'll let me coach 2, 3, 4 or 5 more years, I don't know.
"Hopefully, I'm not going to be a crotchety old man and not handle ... when it's time to go, go. I just feel so good right now, I'd hate to put a timetable on when I'm going to get out of here.
"When I start to get the feel, I'll sit down with the people and say, 'Hey, I think maybe we ought to start talking about, you know, my getting out of here and a successor.' But right now, that hasn't even come up."
Paterno, who will coach his 500th game when Penn State meets Texas A&M in the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, rarely works at his office at the football building these days.
"Most of the time I spend at the office I have at home because I got my tapes there -- I got everything," he said.
Other news emerged during yesterday's bowl media day.
Junior outside linebacker Sean Lee from Upper St. Clair High School said he filed his paperwork with the NFL advisory committee to find out where he could be drafted in April.
Even so, Lee said: "I'm definitely coming back. I'm coming back, for sure."
Lee later said there's only one way he would consider skipping his senior year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.
"If I was a kid in the top 15 and there was that much money involved and I had a chance to take care of my family, then yeah, I'd probably go," he said. "But the likelihood of me doing that is pretty unrealistic. I'm not that good and I know it. I need another year."
Meanwhile, junior cornerback Justin King from Gateway High School confirmed what the Post-Gazette reported earlier this week: He has filed his paperwork with the NFL advisory committee and, he said, his chances of leaving school after the bowl game are "50-50."
"I haven't made my mind up yet," he said.
Senior middle linebacker Dan Connor petitioned the NFL as a junior last year. He decided to return after the scouts and general managers told him he could be a third-round pick, or go as low as the fourth round.
NOTES -- Senior quarterback Anthony Morelli from Penn Hills High School has not addressed the media since the win against Temple Nov. 10. ... Paterno said defensive tackle Chris Baker, special teams player Knowledge Timmons and backup linebacker Navorro Bowman will make the trip to the Alamo Bowl despite facing legal issues. ... Oregon State, which was added to Penn State's 2008 schedule Tuesday, will receive a $1.1 million payday for the Sept. 6 game at Beaver Stadium.
First Published December 14, 2007 12:00 am