Joe Paterno, the immensely successful coach at Penn State, is a perceptive and innovative man. What he says is worth listening to, both as to college football and life in general. In Joe Paterno: "Football My Hay" (Macmillan, $6.95), authors Mervin D. Hyman and Gordon S. White Jr. have distilled a well-organized and readable essence of the Paterno philosophy on such subjects as the faults of college football, the case for the black athlete and the evils of recruiting. A remarkable statement.
Joiner, by James Whitehead (Knopf, $7.95), is an erudite, pretentious, lubricious and convoluted first novel about a former football player with a game plan for violence. Some of the writing is vivid, but too much of it is tasteless and purposely far out. Whitehead is on the side of the angels, writes like the devil and has a gift for characterization and wit.