A phone call from Joe Paterno

Justine King, my oldest granddaughter, will be graduating this weekend from Penn State University with a double major in international relations and marketing, and a minor in Spanish. We are flying into Baltimore and making the beautiful two-hour drive to watch her graduate.

She's a great kid, and like all of my grandchildren, so special to me.

When she got admitted, I called my friend, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, with the news. He sent me a note of congratulations and invited me to be his guest at a home football game.

Coach Paterno is such a classy guy — one of the true gentlemen in college sports. Penn State is a beautiful place and a great university, and his generosity is a big reason why.

When Justine arrived at the dorms for her freshman year, he called her room to welcome her and make sure everything was OK. She still talks about that phone call to this day.

Justine was born toward the end of my career at UNLV. She would go to all of the press conferences with me during our Final Four seasons and sit right there next to me at the podium.

Can you imagine that, my 3-year-old granddaughter at all of those press conferences? It really helped us bond.

I had a chance to look at UNLV's schedule for next year and Wisconsin will be a good home game for the Rebels. Bo Ryan, the Wisconsin coach, is one of the best in the country.

Also, going on the road to play Louisville and Kansas State will be two chances for the Rebels to prove themselves on a bigger stage.

I never had to worry about scheduling games during my time at UNLV because the network did it all for us.

Our athletic director was always approached by the people at CBS. He told them we would play anyone, anywhere because I always wanted to play the best teams.

It was shocking to read about Matt Shaw losing his final year of eligibility for failing a drug test. I got know him a bit, and he is a good kid. He is really a good person.

He would have been a big help to the Rebels next year. He was a tremendous shooter from the outside, probably the best they have.

But they will be OK.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy