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Joe Paterno Used Skype to Chat with Recruit Noah Spence

Joe Paterno is old. Very old. He’s 84 and people have called for him to step down at Penn State at various points over the past 10 years. I thought he should have stepped down after the team went 3-9 and 4-7 in back-to-back seasons in ’03 and ’04, but he stayed on and the team reeled off three 11-win seasons in their next six years. We also learned that his relatively low annual salary is probably why Penn State hasn’t felt an urgency to get rid of him. Anyway, the same guy who once had this hilarious interview where he claimed he couldn’t hear the radio host for two minutes straight actually uses advanced technology to communicate with recruits.

Penn State Rivals passes along the story of Joe Pa speaking with five-star recruit Noah Spence using Skype. Big Ten Blog share details on the conversation:

“It was [Paterno] and Coach Johnson in his office, right next to each other,” Spence told Rivals.com. “We were in my computer lab — me, my dad and coach. It was real fun. It was entertaining, I didn’t know JoePa was that funny. He’s a real cool guy though. He talked about him being around and everything, which was great, that was our main concern with the program. He talked about me playing early and everything like that. It was nice.”

JoePa using Skype? And being funny and entertaining? You have to be kidding me! This isn’t the first time we heard about Penn State using technology to help the program, but I just can’t picture Paterno using Skype. I’m surprised it wasn’t too confusing for him. I just wonder what his screen name is. JoePapabear84? Joeknowsfootball? Hornedrimglasses4life? Come on Joe, let’s Skype together man, that would make my day!

That’s Why Paterno Is Still Coaching

He’s a cheap date. Err coach. Apparently he wasn’t joking when he said he doesn’t pay attention to the money he earns. Unlike some of the hot shot coaches around the country making multi-millions — the Sabans, Tressels, Stoops, Meyers of the world, Joe Pa is content just scraping by. The Patriot-News reports that Paterno’s making just over $500,000 in salary this year — $512,664 to be exact.

While that number seems small for a big-name coach, and it is, Paterno could be pulling more from sponsorship deals, and/or media work. Still, it isn’t exactly a whole lot. Recently the Pac-10 football coach salaries were revealed. At its base level, Joe Pa would be 9th in salary out of the 10 coaches. That’s pretty low. I’m guessing his assistants and coordinators, who also carry most of the actual coaching load, get paid a good amount. So in case you were wondering why Paterno hasn’t been fired, aside from his reputation and legacy at Penn St., it’s probably because he’s not costing them a whole lot anyway. I guess we’re bringing new meaning to the term “figurehead.”

Penn St. Quarterbacks Train by Using Madden on PlayStation

Just this weekend I was having a discussion on football players using Madden. I said that some players use it to practice reads and learn plays. Come to find out, that is certainly the case — at least in Happy Valley. From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, via Buffalo Bill Ben Maller:

The idea is to give the Penn State quarterbacks more work on their playbook, which is loaded onto a Madden football game for use in the video game machine.

“While we’re in there, so-called wasting time, playing PlayStation, we can actually learn something,” starting quarterback Anthony Morelli said. “It will almost be like watching film. Changing plays on the fly, it’s just a fun thing that’s going to help us on the field.”

“It’s pretty much getting to the point where it’s almost real. It’s getting scary,” he said. “They’ve got guys’ accuracy, your arm strength. They’re almost making it look exactly like you. Some guys even move like they really move. It’s crazy. It’s realistic.”

Apparently this is the work of Coach Paterno — Jay that is — Joe don’t even know what PlayStation is. He even adds that the quarterbacks will run through the first 15 scripted plays of the game on Friday using Madden to get prepared for Saturday’s game. These games are so realistic nowadays, learning to react on the game can actually help you make reads. That is crazy.