Following his injury during Penn State's fall practice, Joe Paterno had been making progress toward returning to the sidelines full time. After spending the Nittany Lions' first three games in the press box, the coach spent the first halves of the Eastern Illinois, Indiana and Iowa games downstairs. Last Saturday against the Hawkeyes, however, Paterno had a set back.
At his weekly press conference on Tuesday, the coach acknowledged he tweaked his injury when a couple of players grabbed him to move him out of the way of an Iowa player approaching the Penn State sideline at speed. Paterno said this put him "backwards a couple of days" and that he's still sore.
He decided to move upstairs for the second half because he was worried about the concern his presence on the sideline might generate for his team.
"I was scared to death to stay down there for the second half because I'd be in the way," Paterno said. "I think as long as I can move around and nobody's worried about me, I can be helpful downstairs. The minute I become somebody that two or three guys are watching and, you know, I get in the way, you know 'Where is he?' and I become a distraction, I don't care how good you are, that becomes a problem."
It's not clear when Paterno will be able to coach a full game from the sideline, but he told reporters that remains his goal.