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Joe Paterno will coach from press box during Rose Bowl

December 31, 2008 | 12:20 pm

Joe Paterno has to give up this pose come tomorrow's game.

Penn State Coach Joe Paterno announced today that he will not coach from the sideline at the Rose Bowl. Reliant on a golf cart to move around during practice after undergoing hip replacement surgery a month ago, Paterno said he didn't think he could handle the duration of a game.

"I think I'd be a distraction on the sideline," he said. "Everybody will be worried about somebody bumping me. And the staff has been so good -- all those guys know me, and they know how to operate without me. I'll be upstairs."

Although Paterno, 82, will be able to communicate with his coaches and players, he said he won't interfere too much. He planned to look into the possibility of bringing his team out on the field and going to the locker room at halftime. But he'd like to redirect the focus from his whereabouts to his team.

"It's really the players that we ought to be talking about, not where I'm going to be for crying out loud," he said.

Paterno informed USC Coach Pete Carroll Tuesday about his decision but first tried to make a deal. He asked if Carroll would agree to only throw the ball 15 to 18 times to shorten the game and make it easier for him to stand on the sideline.

"Pete said to me, 'If I see you on the sideline, we're going to throw it 50 times,'" Paterno said.

-- Corina Knoll

Photo: Joe Paterno has to give up this pose come Thursday's game and will be coachig from the press box. Credit: Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press