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Paterno turned down offer to become Steelers coach in 1969

With the horrific developments out of Penn State, any reflection on the career of Joe Paterno is tinged with conflicting emotions.

That said, the folks over at Shutdown Corner point out that Paterno very nearly accepted an offer to become the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, way back in 1969.

Paterno was just three years into his 46 seasons as head coach of the Nittany Lions when the the Rooney family offered him an annual salary of $70,000, a full $50,000 more than he made at the university.

"Pittsburgh Steelers: The Complete Illustrated History" recounts how Paterno struggled with his decision before turning down the team.

"It was an awful lot of money, a fantastic offer," Paterno said in the book. "I'd never dreamed of making that much money. Then I started thinking about what I wanted to do. I had put some things out of whack. I haven't done the job I set out to do at Penn State."

One would imagine Paterno feels that with even more intensity today, ushered out in the chaos surrounding child sex-abuse allegations at the school.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh wouldn't change a thing. The Rooneys went out and hired a Dolphins assistant by the name of Chuck Noll, who went on to win four Super Bowls during his epic 23-year run with the Steelers.

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