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Rick Neuheisel's memorable duet with Joe Paterno


The Jerry Sandusky scandal left Penn State Coach Joe Paterno’s legacy muddled. But there are men who have memories of Paterno from before the last four months.

A year ago, former UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel reminisced about his first meeting with Paterno in the 1990s, when the two were at a gathering of coaches sponsored by Nike.

“He told me to get him a bourbon,” said Neuheisel, who was Colorado’s coach at the time. “I was his [graduate assistant], so to speak. I was the new head coach in the deal.

PHOTOS: Joseph Paterno 1926 - 2012

"He said that I was ruining college football because I had just taken my team skiing. He wanted to know ‘what the hell the rest of us are supposed to do with our teams.’ He told me I had better call and ask to get permission before I did that again.”

The two became friends and, later on that trip, Neuheisel had Paterno try one of Neuheisel's newfangled ways.

“I had a guitar in my hand and I got him up there with me to sing ‘Wild Thing,’ ” Neuheisel said. “He didn’t know a lot of the words, but was effervescent with his rendition.”


Obituary: Joe Paterno dies at 85

Joe Paterno legacy: From triumph to tragedy in days

FULL COVERAGE: Penn State, Jerry Sandusky  scandal

-- Chris Foster

Photo: Coach Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions prepare to take the field before a game against Pittsburgh in 1998. Credit: Rick Stewart / Allsport

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