No one had to talk Bo Ryan into taking a trip to visit the Joe Paterno statue when Wisconsin was in State College to play Penn State. After Paterno passed away from lung cancer on Jan. 22, it was a trip he mentally circled.
"Why wouldn't you?" Ryan said when asked about the decision to take his players to the statue. "I would've played for the guy. I would've coached with the guy."
Prior to the Badgers' 52-46 win over the Nittany Lions, Ryan took his players and staff to the Paterno statue, which has turned into a memorial for the fallen coach. The group had to step over a massive amount of flowers, notes and other Penn State memorabilia to get an up close look at Paterno's likeness.
Wisconsin media relations director Patrick Herb tweeted several photos from the trip and players and coaches signed a Wisconsin hat and left it among the other gifts at the site. Ryan took a couple extra minutes with the hat writing, "To the greatest teacher of all time!"
Ryan wasn't the only one honoring Paterno on Tuesday night. Penn State coach Patrick Chambers sported black sneakers with white laces and rolled up khakis on the Nittany Lions sideline in honor of Paterno's famous attire. Penn State coaches were already wearing sneakers for Coaches vs. Cancer, but decided to roll up his pants to pay his respects in Penn State's first home game since Paterno's death.
"It was a tribute to Coach Paterno and what he's done and what he's meant to this university," Chambers said after the game and called the tribute a "one time thing."