Even as students and fans continue to hold vigils around Joe Paterno‘s statue outside of Beaver Stadium, the man for whom it honors continues the fight for his life.
According to the Washington Post‘s Dave Sheinen, with Sally Jenkins listed as a contributor to the report, the Paterno family is weighing whether to take the ex-Penn State football coach off a ventilator. The report is noteworthy as Jenkins was granted the first interview Paterno had given earlier this month.
The Post, citing family sources, goes on to write that Paterno’s wishes are to not “be kept alive through extreme artificial means.”
Paterno was hospitalized Jan. 13 — the same day his interview with Jenkins concluded, ironically — due to complications from the chemotherapy he was enduring in his battle against lung cancer, and has remained at the State College medical facility for the past nine days. Reports of Paterno’s death that surfaced late Saturday night were almost immediately debunked by the coach’s sons on Twitter.
While described as gravely ill, Paterno was reportedly awake and able to communicate with family and friends who had been summoned to the hospital due to his deteriorating condition. A family spokesperson acknowledged that Paterno had “experienced further health complications” and “his doctors have now characterized his status as serious.”
In a tweet posted to his Twitter account, Jay Paterno, the coach’s son and former Nittany Lions quarterbacks coach, mentioned the show of support his father had received since news broke of his worsening condition.
“Drove by students at the Joe statue. Just told my Dad about all the love & support–inspiring him.”
That tweet was preceded by one that said, in part, “Joe is continuing to fight.”
One of the more underrated storylines heading into Week 6 continued its tack of uncertainty Tuesday.
During the first quarter of Florida State’s win over Wake Forest this past Saturday, Dalvin Cook tweaked his hamstring and didn’t return to the contest. The sophomore running back was initially labeled as day-to-day for this weekend’s game against Miami, and that hasn’t changed as Jimbo Fisher reaffirmed that Cook’s status for the in-state rivalry game remains up in the air.
“We’ll keep waiting,” the head coach said, adding that, because of Cook’s knowledge of the offense, he could sit out of practice the entire week and still take the field against the Hurricanes.
“He knows what to do, you can keep him healthy and do that there’s no doubt about that,” Fisher said.
Cook is far and away FSU’s leading rusher, with his 142.5 yards per game good for eight in the country and his six rushing touchdowns tied for 20th. The Seminoles’ No. 2 rusher, Mario Pender, is still dealing with the aftereffects of a collapsed lung that will sideline him for at least another week.
Oklahoma State’s defense has taken what will likely prove to be a very significant and impactful blow.
On Twitter as well as Instagram late Tuesday night, Ryan Simmons announced that he “recently tore my MCL & PCL which will require surgery.” As a result, Simmons, who was injured in the Week 5 win over Kansas State, will miss the remainder of the 2015 season, even as OSU has yet to officially confirm the linebacker’s status moving forward.
Because Simmons is a senior, and this is his final season of eligibility, the end of his 2015 season would also mean the end of his collegiate career.
Simmons has started the last 31 games for the Cowboys. He was second on the team in tackles last season, and his 26 career tackles for loss makes him OSU’s active leader in that category as well.
On his official bio, it’s written that Simmons is “[o]ne of the unquestioned leaders of the team, both on and off the field.”