Let me preface this entry by saying that I am not writing out of panic. I am not remotely worried about Greg Schiano leaving Rutgers football, and am only writing this entry to get on the record about this topic.
First, the facts.
1. Greg Schiano personally tells recruits that he's not planning to leave Rutgers. You can look at most commitment articles on Rivals and Scout to easily verify this.
2. Penn State has consistently said that they're planning to promote an in-house successor. Terrelle Pryor said it a few months ago. Larry Johnson is telling recruits the same thing:
Said Kephart: "That was the first thing I asked Larry Johnson when he came in here on his recruiting visit: What's the deal with Coach Paterno and what's going to happen when he steps down? He told me the standard line he's telling everybody is the program is stable and secure and they're going to hire within when it's time to replace Coach Paterno. He indicated to me there wasn't anything to worry about from Sean's standpoint and from the coaching staff's standpoint. Sean and his parents definitely felt comfortable with the answers."
Other recruits echo those comments:
''Mr. Paterno told me himself that his replacement is already within the staff, so he'll just bring one new guy in and bump everybody up in the ranks,'' linebacker Mike Yancich from Washington, Pa., said.
Fightonstate.com recruiting reporter Cory James speaks frequently with every Penn State recruit and confirmed Yancich's comments about coaching promises.
''They tell the recruits that the next coach will come from within and the program won't change while they're there,'' James said. ''Every kid I've talked to, that's 100 percent the answer that Penn State has said."
Now, some speculation and hearsay.
1. According to nearly every second hand recount of touchdown club meetings I've read, when Schiano has been asked the question, he has always said that he's not going to follow Paterno and he thinks that whoever immediately succeeds him at PSU is doomed.
2. You can call Schiano a lot of things, but no one can claim that he's not a stand-up guy. His word is his bond. As far as I'm concerned, if he says something, you can take it at face value. He's not looking to job-hop like a Petrino.
3. Some people point to the Rich Rodriguez parallels. In actuality, RRod was consistently lied to by the WVU administration as far as facilities upgrades go. In contrast, Greg Schiano has received everything he's ever asked for, even with the university and state in a fiscal crisis.
Schiano does indeed idolize Joe Paterno. But what's the best way to continue Paterno's legacy? By following in his shadow? The true way to be the next Paterno is to build your own fiefdom where there once was nothing. There's a lot of personal pride in the matter, and I'm surprised that this issue is frequently overlooked.
Overall, there's a lot of misinformation on this issue. Don't believe random (heh) blog entries claiming to have the inside scoop. Schiano does not have any team-specific buyouts in his contract (even though it's not particularly high in general). It's not just random blog entries, as even the likes of Peter King and Stewart Mandel have gotten in on the action. These writers are just trying to fill column space, and they acknowledge that they're speculating, rather recklessly at that.
Is this major news? Not particularly. But it's good to see a media outlet reporting the other side of this story for once.