Paterno behind Big Ten expansion, but doesn't want Notre Dame
Joe Paterno is pushing for the Big Ten to add a 12th team but not Notre Dame
He would like to see the conference bring on a team from the New York market
FOGELSVILLE, Pa. (AP) -- Joe Paterno says he'd like to see either Rutgers, Pittsburgh or Syracuse join the Big Ten.
The Penn State coach also knows who he wants to keep out: Notre Dame.
Paterno, meeting with reporters Wednesday at an alumni event near Allentown, has long pushed for Big Ten expansion. A 12th team could ease scheduling difficulties and clear the way for a lucrative playoff. Penn State joined as the conference's 11th team in 1990.
Paterno said he'd like the Big Ten to add an Eastern school, especially one that plays in the New York media market. That would seem to favor Rutgers.
"If I had my choice, someone that can give us the biggest TV exposure in the East," Paterno said, offering as possibilities "Syracuse, Pitt, Rutgers. Not in that order."
Notre Dame rejected an invitation to join the Big Ten a decade ago.
"There's some pressure, I would suppose, to maybe go back to Notre Dame and ask again, which I would not be happy with," Paterno said. "I think they've had their chance."
The coach also weighed in on Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, who faces the loss of up to 14 victories resulting from an academic cheating scandal. The NCAA gave its Committee on Infractions until June 2 to respond to a Florida State appeal of sanctions.
The 82-year-old Paterno has 383 wins -- one ahead of Bowden, who will turn 80 in November.
"I can't tell you how many games I've won. I can't tell you how many games Bobby's won," Paterno said. "But I would not want to (have) somebody put me down in the grave and say, 'Hey, here's a guy that won more games than any other college coach because they took 12 games away,' or 14 games away, or whatever they want to take away from Bobby. That's not right."
Paterno also said linebacker Navorro Bowman remains with the team. Bowman sat out the spring scrimmage after a judge ruled last month that the Nittany Lions' top tackler last season violated his probation when he admitted, during a meeting with a probation officer, smoking marijuana in the offseason.
Bowman had been on probation after pleading guilty in May 2008 to disorderly conduct in connection with a campus fight. A judge sentenced him to an extra 12 months of probation and to undergo drug testing and counseling.
"Right now, he doesn't have any problems, as long as he keeps up his academics" and follows the instructions of his probation officer, Paterno said.
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