Meyer Comments on Passing of Paterno

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Last updated: 01/22/2012 3:53 PM

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Urban Meyer Comments on Passing of Paterno
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Joe Paterno had not been an active member of the coaching fraternity for more than two months, but his passing Sunday effected everyone in college football.

That includes Urban Meyer. The first-year head coach at Ohio State had this to say after Paterno’s family announced the 85-year old had died Sunday morning at a hospital in State College, Pa.

“I am deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Coach Joe Paterno. He was a man who I have deep respect for as a human being, as a husband and father, as a leader and as a football coach,” Meyer said in a statement.

“I was very fortunate to have been able to develop a personal relationship with him, especially over the course of the last several years, and it is something that I will always cherish.”

The legendary Penn State coach was diagnosed with lung cancer back in November, only days after he was fired by the school’s board of trustees. Paterno was not implicated in a grand jury's indictment, but his departure came in the wake of the arrest of his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, on multiple felony counts of sexual abuse of boys.

The Hall of Famer from Brooklyn was born Dec. 21, 1926 and coached the Nittany Lions from 1966-2011 after 15 years as an assistant coach at Penn State. He won a record 409 games, including 24 bowl games and two national championships. He also had 38 winning season, one more than former Alabama head coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant.

The scandal that rocked Happy Valley this past fall has certainly damaged Paterno’s reputation. There is no telling how history will choose to view him in the years to come. That hasn’t stopped the outpouring of support for Paterno and his family following his passing.  

“My prayers and thoughts go out to his wife, Sue, and to their family, and also to the family he had at Penn State University,” Meyer added.

“We have lost a remarkable person and someone who affected the lives of so many people in so many positive ways. His presence will be dearly missed. His legacy as a coach, as a winner and as a champion will carry on forever.”

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