Steve Spurrier On Joe Paterno: ‘I Think He Got A Bad Deal’
Add Steve Spurrier to the list of famous college football coaches to support Joe Paterno.
In an interview with The State, a Columbia, S.C. newspaper, Spurrier reflected on his upcoming 70th birthday, and weighed in on the legacy of Penn State’s longtime coach.
When asked his opinion of those still coaching in their 70s while he was in his 50s, Spurrier cited both Paterno and Bobby Bowden — who has since reevaluated his stance on Paterno — as outliers that coached into old age. Spurrier seemed to understand Florida State forcing out Bowden six years ago after a mediocre season, but took a different route with Paterno.
“Joe Paterno was still there. That was very unfortunate what happened up there,” Spurrier said. “I still think he got a bad deal, got a terrible deal.”
When asked if he was referring to the blame Paterno received during and after the Sandusky scandal, the South Carolina coach defended Paterno’s actions after hearing the allegations.
“He did what the head coach is supposed to do. He told the athletic director, and [the AD] and the president let it die down I guess, and of course it flared up later,” Spurrier said. “He was a good guy, a good friend. I liked him.”
Spurrier’s comments follow those of former Notre Dame and South Carolina head coach Lou Holtz, who questioned the Freeh Report and the NCAA’s sanctions on the university. Alabama’s Nick Saban also praised Paterno following his death, and Bowden called for the return of Paterno’s wins this past September.
It surely seems as though the tide continues to turn in Paterno’s favor.
Photo: SB Nation