CHICAGO – Earlier this month, CBSSports.com did a five-part series on cheating in college football. Among our findings was that Penn State and BYU are the only two schools that have won Associated Press national championships without receiving a major infraction in the history of either football program.
The secret to Penn State’s success?
“Oh boy,” Penn State coach Joe Paterno said. “Maybe we’re lucky.
“What the good Lord said: ‘don’t be the first one to cast the rock.’ I preach all the time. I tell our alumni all the time. Stay out of it. We try to keep them informed as to what they can do legally, what they can’t do legally.”
Paterno said he uses the philosophy that he learned from former Penn State coach Rip Engle – yes, there was another head coach at Penn State besides Paterno.
“He used to say when I’d come back all upset, maybe I was trying to recruit some hot shot, and lost him,” Paterno said. “He would say, ‘Hey Joe don’t worry about the guys we lose. Only make sure who you bring in here belongs here and they’re coming here for the right reasons.’
“That’s probably something that I preach all the time to the staff.”
Paterno said it’s “nice to know we haven’t had a major violation. I’m proud of that. I’m not going around gloating about it.”
Paterno also said the way student-athletes are dealt with has changed drastically throughout the years.
“The old days when I first started to coach, I lived four blocks off the campus,” Paterno said. “I used to get a telephone call from one of the campus cops. He would say ‘Hey coach, you better come up here and get a hold of Mike. Too much to drink, making a lot of noise.’ ”
Paterno said he’d get up at 2 a.m. to go get the player and then have the player up at 5 a.m. to “run his rear end off for a week. But you guys [the media] never heard about it.”
“Every once in a while I hear one of these guys that I know a little bit about when they were 19 and 20,” Paterno said. “I’m talking about all the kids today, they ought to go back and read Socrates. Socrates 400 years B.C. said ‘The kids today are terrible tyrants. They don’t pay attention.’ That’s 2,500 years ago, OK?
“Anyway, I’m shooting my mouth off too much.”