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Dr. Saturday

Today in NCAA tedium: Joe Paterno admits he broke a rule

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Paterno

Even Joe Paterno, who's been coaching since leather helmets were all the rage, can slip up with the NCAA every now and again.

The 84-year-old coach acknowledged Monday that he inadvertently broke an NCAA rule while walking through his own campus at Penn State. He said he stopped to watch several football players during their voluntary workout -- he didn't speak to anyone -- and then reported back to his other coaches that one player in particular looked good. One of the assistant coaches then told Paterno that he had committed an NCAA violation.

Oops.

Of course, it's a minor violation, but one that Penn State has already acknowledged it's reporting to the NCAA.

"Our compliance office is aware and will relay the circumstances to determine if there was a secondary violation," Penn State spokesman Jeff Nelson told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The result will likely be a reprimand that amounts to a slap on the wrist, but it still has to be reported to maintain good NCAA standing.

Paterno actually spilled the beans during a taping of "Difference Makers: Life Lessons with Paterno and Krzyzewski," which chronicles the careers of the Penn State coach and Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Paterno was responding to a question about the current state of NCAA athletics and both he and Krzyzewski said the rules needed to be updated to keep up with modern times.

However, watching players during voluntary workouts has always been a no-no for college coaches and a rule that most coaches obey. After all, it's a lot easier to have one of the captains come to the coaches' offices and report everything that goes on at the workout anyway.

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