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Rubin_mallory
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  • 03:39 PM ET  12.17
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An 82-year-old Joe Paterno led his team to the Rose Bowl. :: AP

First, Rose Bowl officials lavished Joe Paterno with fragrant bouquets and a BCS invite. Then, doctors equipped him with a surgically repaired hip. Now, Penn State's awarded its 82-year-old head coach a three-year contract extension.

Clearly, 'tis the season of giving.

Now, instead of speculating over JoePa's fate, we can spend our time second-guessing the move and feeling sorry for Tom Bradley. Only, we're not going to second guess the move (we are, however, going to feel sorry for Bradley, who's now doomed to three more years of doing a head coach's job without getting head coaching credit or head coaching money).

It doesn't take glasses as thick as Paterno's to see he's little more than a figure head now. Paterno's the face of the program, and he's there to provide a link to the past and inspiration for the present. He's not, however, there to call plays or woo recruits. That's for Bradley and Co. Penn State fans may think the extension frustrating and foolish, but at the end of the day, this was an example of an institution doing right by a man who had done right by it for decades, and that's a refreshing thing to see in this era of impatience, turnover and disloyalty.

That's our take. Post yours in the comments below.

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