Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno was injured after being hit by a receiver during practice Sunday. JoePa was on the sidelines taking notes and didn’t see the hit coming, but no worries, the 84-year-old is expected to be okay, even ‘walking away from the collision’.
So what happened? Devon Smith was executing a drill when he ran into the legendary coach. Although Paterno did walk away from the incident, doctors wanted him to be checked out. The collision left him with injuries to his right shoulder and hip, with ESPN reporting that he has a hairline fracture to his pelvis. The Penn State coach is currently at Mount Nittany Medical Center undergoing additional testing, but one thing has been determined, Paterno will not require surgery for his injuries.
Paterno said in a statement today:
”I expect to be back at practice soon. I’m doing fine; tell everyone not to worry about me. I like the effort I have seen from the squad during our first few practices, but we have a long way to go to get ready for the schedule we have.”
As we all know, this isn’t the first time he’s been injured while on the job. During the 2006 season he broke his leg when a player collided with him at a game versus Wisconsin. Then in 2008, during the pre-season, he injured his hip while giving an example of how an onside kick is done. He had hip replacement surgery once the season was over.
So as Paterno gears up for his 46th season with the Nittany Lions, many have voiced concern for the 84-year-old’s health. Is it time for him to say goodbye after this season? This marks the last year of his three year contract with the university, but don’t expect him to retire at the end of the season. Just a week and a half ago at the Big Ten Media Days in Chicago, Paterno said, “Right now, I’m looking at four, five more years. I may be optimistic; I don’t know.” I wonder how he feels now?