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Paterno Working on a Succession Plan?

Joe Paterno spent a good portion of the Nike Coaches clinic seeking out Joe Tiller for advice. And he wasn't asking him how to grow a fabulously groomed mustache either. He wanted to know about succession plans.

Tiller will retire after the 2008 season and be replaced by Danny Hope, who has left a head coaching job with Eastern Kentucky to join Tiller's staff for a transition season. Paterno, the 81-year-old Penn State coach whose contract runs through this season, sought out Tiller, full of questions that he wanted answered.

"He was asking me 'Why?' and 'Who?' and 'How?' " Tiller said during a telephone interview. "He didn't really tip his hand. But he did ask me 'Who's this guy?' and 'Why did I like him?' and 'Why now?' and those types of things.

"He didn't say, 'I'm thinking about this or I've got to do this.' But, after it had been announced, he seemed to be curious."

Something is going down soon. It has to. We're about to enter spring practice in the final year of Joe's contract. At this point nobody knows what is going to happen after 2008. Recruits are sitting back waiting to see how the coaching situation is going to play out. We can't wait until they are all committed to Rutgers and Virginia before we make our move. A decision has to come by the end of March if you ask me.

It's not a popular sentiment, but I've been saying along I belive Joe is going to get a four year extension and all of the assistant coaches are going to be locked up through 2009. But I believe 2008 will be his last year. Spanier wants to pick out the next coach through a national search. Joe wants security for his assistants. This is the only solution in which both guys get what they want. If the next guy comes in and lets the assistant coaches go they all get a nice check to hold them over until they find another job.