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Dave Wannstedt Confirms Joe Paterno Had No Interest In Pitt-Penn State

First, I'd obviously be remiss if I didn't mention Joe Paterno's passing before talking about a pretty meaningless game.

I hadn't written anything on his death and it's likely I won't. I laid out my stance on Joe Pa when the scandal broke and my thoughts are pretty much the same, so there's no sense in rehashing them. But I do hope and pray for the best for his family. Regardless of everything that's gone down, the thing that shouldn't be ignored is that his family is coping with his loss.

All that said, in case you missed it, Dave Wannstedt had a fairly interesting quote about a conversation he had with Paterno a while back. In it, Joe Pa made it pretty clear he had no desire to play Pitt.

Now, for Pitt fans, that comes as little surprise. But it was still interesting to hear it straight from someone who spoke directly with Paterno on the subject:

He also said Paterno had no interest in reviving the Pitt-Penn State rivalry in football, even though Wannstedt telephoned him about it when both were still coaching at their schools.

"He said, `Dave, tell Jeff (former Pitt AD Long), I have no problem with Jeff, but here’s the deal: As long as I’m here, it’s just not going to work out,’ " Wannstedt said, recalling his conversation with Paterno. "Why and how I really don’t know," Wannstedt said. "Didn’t ask and really didn’t care."

That seemingly goes against what we've heard from Paterno over the years. His stance essentially was that while he'd like to play Pitt, it just wasn't possible. While no reasons were given according to Wannstedt, it seems Paterno had no interest in playing the Panthers.

There is, of course, the recent agreement by Pitt and Penn State to play. But that won't happen until 2016 and Paterno was likely almost certain he wouldn't be coaching then.

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