Former Penn State Coach Joe Paterno Dead At 85

Former Penn State Coach Joe Paterno Dead At 85: Happy Valley was perfect for Joe Paterno, a place where “JoePa” knew best, where he not only won more football games than any other major college coach, but won them the right way: with integrity and sportsmanship. A place where character came first, championships second.

Behind it all, however, was an ugly secret that ran counter to everything the revered coach stood for.

Paterno, a sainted figure at Penn State for almost half a century but scarred forever by the child sex abuse scandal that brought his career to a stunning end, died Sunday at age 85.

His death came just over two months after his son Scott announced on Nov. 18 that his father had been diagnosed with a treatable form of lung cancer. The cancer was found during a follow-up visit for a bronchial illness. A few weeks later, Paterno broke his pelvis after a fall but did not need surgery.

Paterno had been in the hospital since Jan. 13 for observation after what his family called minor complications from his cancer treatments. Not long before that, he conducted his only interview since losing his job, with The Washington Post. Paterno was described as frail then, speaking mostly in a whisper and wearing a wig. The second half of the two-day interview was conducted at his bedside.

His family released a statement Sunday morning to announce his death: “His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled.”

“He died as he lived,” the statement said. “He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community.”  Continue Reading…

Raiders tTake Steps Away From Davis Dysfunction With Jackson Firing

Raiders tTake Steps Away From Davis Dysfunction With Jackson Firing: The Hue Jackson error in Oakland is over, and as it turns out, maybe the Raiders are starting to make progress after all.

Jackson’s firing on Tuesday after just one tumultuous season represents a clean break of sorts in Oakland, from the way things were done when Al Davis ran the whole show for decades, to the way business will now be conducted with new Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie in charge.

Jackson was the last coaching hire of Davis, the iconic Raiders owner who died in early October at 82. And his dismissal is now the first move made by McKenzie, the respected former Green Bay personnel executive who promises to bring some sense of sanity, accountability and a more traditional mode of NFL operations to Oakland. Read More…