Originally posted on SPORTS by BROOKS  |  Last updated 12/7/11

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 1: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions leaves the field following the 2010 Capital One Bowl against the LSU Tigers at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on January 1, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. Penn State won 19-17. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Tonight a Penn State athletic department official told SbB that Joe Paterno’s health is in rapid decine.

The Penn State source, who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak for the Paterno family, was blunt in their assessment of the former Penn State football coach’s physical condition, telling SbB, “Joe is a lot closer to dying soon than the public is aware. It is very bad.”

Paterno’s family revealed the ex-Penn State coach had a treatable form of lung cancer on November 18.

On Nov. 27, Paterno’s son Jay said of the cancer treatments his father was undergoing: “He’s going through treatments and stuff like that and he’s been handling it very well.”

Today the Penn State Athletic Department source told SbB that Paterno is continuing to get daily cancer treatments but that, “it (cancer) is much worse than the family has let on.” 

The source added that those close to Paterno fear, “this may be his last Christmas.”

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates

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