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Insider

Brady Hoke, U-M players react to Paterno

11/9/2011

Brady Hoke was prepared. He been asked about the continuing saga of alleged sexual abuse, perjury, accountability and responsibility at Penn State over the past couple of days, so this time the first-year Michigan coach was ready with a response.

Except he didn't even wait for the question to be asked. Hoke led off his Wednesday news conference with a statement about longtime Penn State coach Joe Paterno and his retirement effective at the end of the season, which was announced Wednesday morning.

"I have the utmost respect for what coach Paterno has done on the field," Hoke said. "It's really a situation that's obviously unfortunate but its one that doesn't affect us. We have to worry about Michigan and the decisions that we make and getting ready for this week going to Illinois."

Hoke declined to discuss Paterno further, including memories of facing the coach. His players, however, remembered going against him the past few seasons.

"I remember playing at Penn State last year and seeing him on the other sideline," guard Patrick Omameh said. "And going ‘That’s Joe Paterno.’"

Paterno won't be around next season -- at least not on the Penn State sidelines. So it'll be a different look to college football and to the Big Ten.

"You know, the Big Ten championship trophy is the Stagg-Paterno Trophy," senior defensive tackle Mike Martin said. "So I think that says it all in how much he’s given to college football."

Paterno will finish his career with a 6-10 record against Michigan -- all since 1993.