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TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 11: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions during warmups before facing the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 11, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Joe Paterno
At this point, the only thing more persistent than the rumors that legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno will retire are the rumors that Brett Favre will actually hang up his cleats and walk off into the sunset.
This year one of those two things will come true, but it won't be the item involving the 84-year-old Nittany Lion.
Paterno's family has recently spoken out in public about internet speculation saying that the winningest coach in major college football history will step down after his team plays the Florida Gators in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day, reports ESPN.
The coach's wife, Sue Paterno, called the reports "lies."
"Who started the crazy rumors?" she said in an interview with fan website PennState.Scout.com. "He's fine. No one has to identify who starts it. We don't even know where it starts. I mean, he's [supposedly] in the hospital when he's sitting at the table for dinner."
Paterno's daughter, Mary Kay Hort, also pushed back against the rumors, saying that the Outback Bowl, "is not his planned last game."
Paterno just completed his record 45th season as head coach of the two-time national championship winning program and seems to be looking forward to 2011.
"We've got a very young team," he said in an interview with the Associated Press. "We've got about 60 kids here that are freshman and sophomores. Some of them are pretty good athletes that need some work. So I think in that sense, you're hoping that you can get some things developed that are going to carry over to next year. But no matter what, you've got to play a team like Florida, you ought to try and win."