Someone at PSU's Staying: Larry Johnson Sr.

Alex FergusonSenior Analyst IIJanuary 18, 2009

Was Larry Johnson Sr. offered a monster salary hike to stay at Penn State instead of going to sudden Big Ten rival Illinois? Apparently not, according to some newspaper reports.

Was Larry Johnson Sr. told that if he doesn't die of old age before Joe Paterno actually retires, he'll get either the defensive coordinator's, or even the head coach's job in Happy Valley? Apparently not, according to the same newspaper reports.

""I made a decision not based on monetary gain or status," Johnson told the Patriot-News. "The overriding factors were my loyalty to Penn State, my love for my players and my loyalty to their families that are already committed to me.

"I owe it to them to make a good decision, and I think I made the best one I could have made at this juncture in my career," he added

Or does he simply love Penn State that much that he couldn't possibly go to the Big Ten competition?

People in Happy Valley love Larry Johnson Sr. He's the father of one of the best running backs ever to have to have touched the hallowed turf of Beaver Stadium and perhaps one of the best running backs the NFL has ever seen (bar his 2008 year, when he had, ahem, other things to worry about).

He's one of the best recruiters in the Big Ten...and perhaps in college football. He's an exceptional defensive line coach - and perhaps the future defensive coordinator if a certain Mr Bradley - who frankly deserves a statue outside Beaver Stadium alongside Joe Paterno's - moves up to head coach. And he's a decent guy, too.

As a person who's seen a lot of people asked for a job and given a financial offer they couldn't refuse, I should think it was a mixture of everything. But frankly, I don't know.

And even MORE frankly, it's none of my business. But thanks for staying, Larry Johnson Sr. In this financial climate, it could have been so much easier to walk.

Here's a highlight of one of your proudest moments: when your son got to 2,000 yards in front of a packed house in Happy Valley.

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