Former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno's battle with lung cancer reportedly took a turn for the worse on Saturday as his health continued to fail him. Rumors have picked up significantly as the day has worn on, culminating in a report detailing his grave condition this afternoon.
According to Onward State, Paterno was taken off a respirator early on Saturday morning.
According to a source, former head coach Joe Paterno was taken off of a respirator this morning. onward.st/AcFFzA— Onward State Feed (@OnwardStateFeed) January 21, 2012
*The link in the tweet is down at the moment due to a high volume of traffic inundating the Onward State servers.
In a post on Blue-White Illustrated, Tom McAndrew also confirmed Paterno's health is failing, giving the impression he could pass away at any moment.
This is pretty difficult, because the Paterno family needs to handle things on their own terms, and to announce things when they wish to do so.
The rumors about JoePa being in bad shape (beyond just having lung cancer) are, unfortunately, accurate. His extended family has been summoned to be with him.
Paterno has been undergoing cancer treatment with regularity since being terminated by the Penn State Board of Trustees in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Over the past few months, he's been in-and-out of the hospital, with his latest stint beginning shortly after he conducted his first interview, with Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post, since the scandal. Paterno was suffering from exhaustion, and Jenkins noted the former Penn State coach appeared frail and weak, often speaking in hushed tones.