Paterno has lung cancer

Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno is suffering from a treatable form of lung cancer.

Scott Paterno, the son of the legendary coach, revealed his father’s condition in a statement to the Associated Press.

In┬áthe statement, Scott Paterno said doctors are optimistic that his 84-year-old father “will make a full recovery.”

Paterno was diagnosed last weekend during a follow-up visit for a bronchial illness. He was hospitalized during the Nittany Lions’ game against Nebraska – the first game Penn State played without Paterno as coach since 1966.

“As everyone can appreciate, this is a deeply personal matter for my parents, and we simply ask that his privacy be respected as he proceeds with treatment,” Scott Paterno said.

Paterno was fired by the university on Nov. 9 following the revelation of the sex-abuse charges against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

The winningest coach in Division I history, Paterno had announced he would retire days after Sandusky was indicted on charges of sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span.

The school’s board of trustees, however,┬áreacted swiftly to the burgeoning scandal by firing Paterno and university President Graham Spanier.

Paterno was in his 46th season as head coach and was dismissed less than two weeks after he moved past Grambling State legend Eddie Robinson for the most wins all time in Division I with his 409th victory.

Nicknamed JoePa, Paterno was the very face of college football, compiling a 409-136-3 record in Happy Valley.

He guided the Nittany Lions to two national championships in 1982 and 1986 and five perfect seasons.

Penn State made a record 37 bowl appearances under Paterno, who also holds the all-time record with 24 bowl victories.

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