Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 11/8/11

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 7: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions stands on the field during warm-ups before a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes on November 7, 2009 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

Joe Paterno's weekly press conference with the media was cancelled a little more than half an hour before it was to begin by Penn State president Graham Spanier. Over 100 media members from the local beat reporters who always participate in the weekly conferences to national media flying in to cover the Penn State scandal linked to high-ranking members of the university were handed a brief statement and turned away before Paterno ever entered the room at Beaver Stadium.

No make-up date has been announced, nor will it be expected. Paterno will also cancel his appearance on the weekly Big Ten coaches conference call, which was scheduled for later in the day. Coaches at universities linked to various investigations have been known to not appear on weekly conference calls with media covering specific conferences, but the initial reaction is that Penn State is doing everything they can at this point to avoid talking about the scandal.

The move in itself is not unexpected. Many wondered if Penn State would even both having their weekly press conference just days after news broke that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky had been charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse of a minor, with many of those acts taking place on Penn State's own campus as a member of the coaching staff and post-retirement with special access to facilities on campus. Paterno was linked to part of the investigation.

On Monday evening Penn State released a statement reminding media that Tuesday's press conference would deal only with football-related questions. Penn State has their home finale this weekend against Nebraska and hopes of a Big Ten championship are still in sight, but nobody form the media would be likely to restrict themselves to football questions in the first media appearance scheduled by Paterno since the allegations and charges were released.

Less than an hour after Penn State cancelled Joe Paterno's weekly press conference the New York Times reported that there is an exit plan being developed for the long time head coach.

"The board of trustees has yet to determine the precise timing of Paterno’s exit, but it is clear that the man who has more victories than any other coach at college football’s top level and who made Penn State a prestigious brand will not survive to coach another season," The New York Times reports. "Discussions about how to manage his departure have begun, according to the two people."

We will have to see exactly what comes out of this but the writing does look to be on the wall. This is the final year of Paterno's current contract and he will be 85 years old next month. For as long as Paterno has said he would like to coach for a few more years, eventually the time has to come.

 

 

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