'Big Ten Icons' episode on Joe Paterno debuts Saturday

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A new episode of Big Ten Icons airs at 4 p.m. Saturday on Big Ten Network with a profile of legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. The episode is the third of 12 installments of the series, hosted by Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Keith Jackson.

The show includes new one-on-one interviews with Paterno, his son Jay, Tom Bradley, Fran Ganter, Michael Robinson, Adam Taliaferro, Larry Johnson, Matt Millen, Bob White, Steve Jones, Bobby Bowden, Glen Mason and others. Watch a preview at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_RZr9AFvH0

The show will debut shortly after the Penn State-Purdue contest and post-game coverage, with kick set for noon BTN. The program will re-air Tuesday at 10 and 11:30 p.m.

In the episode, Bowden says, "When Joe gets out of coaching, he will go down as the best football coach, the most successful football coach ever. And he's done it the right way."

Robinson says, "Before Joe got here, this was an agricultural school. Now when you think of Penn State, you say, black shoes, plain jerseys, white helmets - Joe Paterno."

In his 46th season as head coach of the Nittany Lions, Paterno's 406 career victories are a record among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) coaches. He was among the first three active coaches inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and has more bowl wins (24) than any coach in college football history. Paterno has coached 78 first-team All-America selections, 16 National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athletes, 47 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and 18 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winners.

Paterno and his wife, Sue, have contributed more than $4 million to Penn State for multiple academic and athletic building projects and to endow scholarships and faculty positions. The Paternos also pledged $1 million to the Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College to assist with a 42,000-square foot expansion of the region's primary medical facility. The new wing opened in 2010.

The Big Ten Network will again televise more than 100 Penn State events in 2011-12, including at least three football games. BTN is available to approximately 80 million homes on more than 300 providers in the U.S. and Canada, but is not available to Armstrong, Blue Ridge and Adams Cable customers in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Penn State (5-1, 2-0) hosts Purdue (3-2, 1-0) on Saturday in the teams' first meeting since 2008 and first as members of the Big Ten Leaders Division. Kickoff is set for noon in Beaver Stadium for Penn State's 92nd Homecoming game, which will air on BTN, the Penn State Sports Network and www.GoPSUsports.com.

Tickets are available for the Nittany Lions' home contests with Purdue and unbeaten Illinois (Oct. 29). Tickets can be purchased at www.GoPSUsports.com/tickets or by calling 1-814-865-5555 weekdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

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Last Updated October 14, 2011