By Fort Buck on 16:26:35 01/21/04
I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Joe Pa for about 10, 15 minutes earlier today.
We talked about the state of Penn State football and during the conversation he mentioned how he had to suspend Curtis Enis and Joe Jurivicious (I know I butchered the spelling of his name) from the bowl game their final seasons at Penn State to teach both guys a lesson - Enis for the suit and Joe for not attending class.
I laughed and told Joe that blue-chip recruits from Ohio like Kijana Carter, OJ McDuffie and Curtis Enis were nothing but trouble and he should avoid recruiting them at all costs and allow them to attend OSU in the future. (Joe wa flying to Portsmouth, Ohio later in the afternoon to meet with a lineman recruit.)
Joe Pa laughed and said, "I have a snaeking suspicion that you're an Ohio State fan."
We talked for a few more minutes and when I told him goodbye, he grabbed my hand, pulled me in close to him, smiled and said, "Go Bucks!" Then, he faked like was going to trip (stuck out his leg in front of me) me because I am an OSU fan.
Now, keep in mind, I'm 6-foot-2, 255 pounds and Joe Pa is a smallish, 77-year-old man, so him pulling me close to tell me "Go Bucks!" and then pretending to trip me had to look as funny as it sounded.
Joe Pa was engaging, charming and a gentleman and had nice things to say about the Big Ten. He had an assistant coach with him, Coach Van (short for Vander-something), and he also had some really nice things to say about Tressel and OSU's program.
I'm glad I got a chance to meet Joe Pa one on one. I know his passion sometimes allows him to get carried away, but, overall, I think he's a really cool dude.