Paterno Not Optimistic Penn State Will Renew Rivalry With Pitt

Panthers' insistence on home-and-home difficult for Nittany Lions

June 19, 2007

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Joe Paterno doesn't sound optimistic about the prospects of the Pitt-Penn State football series being revived any time soon.

Speaking Tuesday before a Penn State alumni event, Paterno said the economic realities in an era of 12-game football seasons hurt the chances of the in-state rivals playing again.

"We're not sure exactly how many games we can play out of the Big Ten," Paterno said. "Financially, we have to have seven home games. If Pitt would say tomorrow, 'We'll go twice up to your place if you come once down here...' The last time we came to Pitt, they charged more money for our game than any other game."

Penn State and Pitt have played 96 times with Penn State holding a 50-42-4 edge in the series that was an annual meeting until 1992 - about the time Pitt joined the Big East and Penn State the Big Ten.

The two schools met from 1997-2000, but have not since and have no plans to again.

With Penn State locked into nonconference games with Notre Dame, Alabama, Syracuse and Virginia in coming years - and Pitt set on only playing in State College on an every-other-year basis - one of college football's oldest rivalries appears dead.

"I personally would like to have a home-and-home series with Pitt," Paterno said. "But I don't think it's realistic right now."

Paterno also talked about upcoming discipline for six players allegedly involved in an off-campus altercation and his future with the team.