Tomahawk Nation outlines some good and bad points from the recent release that will have Jumbo Fisher taking over for Bobby Bowden. That article got me thinking of another legend who is up there in age, and he should take some lessons from a fellow Hall of Famer. At this point in the game, I feel that naming a succession plan is entirely necessary. First of all Joe Paterno is 80 years old, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that his years left as the head coach at Penn State are numbered. His age, healthy, and energy to continue this fast paced job are all working against him. It can be traced back to 1982 after winning his first National Title, he told the Penn State Alumni gathered in Pittsburgh to hear him speak that he will only coach another 4 years, so why 25 years later are we still without a definite plan for succession? There are a lot of conspiracy theories out there as to why he hasn't come out with a plan, most notably is the one where he wants his son Jay, current co-offensive coordinator, to succeed him. As much as I believe that a father loves his son, I don't think this is a viable option since Jay has zero head coaching experience at any level. The other theory is that Joe is so full of himself that he thinks he will be coaching 2...4...6 years down the road. It is great for a man to think that, but if Joe truly loves the University, and cares for the well being of it, he should take a step back and examine how realistic that thought is. So how would naming a succession plan be good for the University? First of all it would help in recruiting. There is no doubt that Joe's age and his contract uncertainty (expires at the end of 2008) is working totally against Penn State. Kids are going to look at his age and realize that most likely, he will not be there when their career is over. I understand in this world of ever changing coaches that can be said for a lot of other teams, but I would be willing to bet that someone could foresee Paterno retiring a lot easier than most other coaches being fired right now. Recruits go to school because of their relationships with the coaches, so how does Penn State expect to keep pulling in good recruiting classes when they can't sell the recruits on the notion that Joe will be there for them in the end. At least with a succession plan, that all can be laid out in front of the recruit which would ease the recruit that there is a plan in place. Secondly, for years we have heard that the next coach will come from within the current program. If that is the case, come out and name that coach. Whether it be Tom Bradley or Larry Johnson Sr...come public with that name. These coaches have been loyal to the program for a number of years, and this would add some stability to the transition which hasn't happened at Penn State since the 1960s. Rip Engle announced that Paterno would be the next head coach, so Joe should do the same. Right now there is a lot of uncertainty on the staff since nothing has been said. How does the University expect to keep coaches like Bradley or LJ Sr around if they don't let them know the intentions of the program? If I were them, I would possibly be looking for another job. Say what you want about Sandusky and Ganter, but I think the two saw the writing on the wall and got out. They knew they were either not getting the head coaching job, or didn't want to play the waiting game anymore so they took other avenues. If Penn State waits much longer, this could happen to a few more long time assistants. Next I think it would allow Joe to retire with the fanfare that he deserves. I understand when many people say he is a modest man, and does not want the fanfare when he leaves, but allow him to have it. Whether it be 2008 or 2009, announce before the season that this is Joe's last year, and let him get the proper send off. This needs to be done soon or the football program is going to see another drastic downward spiral. Joe Paterno has done so much for Pennsylvania State University. In some aspects he is even bigger than the University itself. You can go anywhere in the country and ask people what is the first word(s) that come to mind when you say Penn State to them...I bet over 75% say, Joe Paterno. And they should, he has a library named after him and hundreds of athletes he has coached that have nothing but praise for the man. Let him still be involved with the University. But now it is time for Paterno to do one last thing for the University...make sure it is in stable hands when he departs.Time has come for JoePa to write his fairy tale ending ...and name a succession plan. I bet many of you thought I was going to say step down, well I won't go that far just yet.