Meyer: No truth to report about succeeding Paterno

Former Florida head coach Urban Meyer said Saturday there is "no truth" to a report that he had spoken with Penn State officials to gauge his interest in succeeding Joe Paterno when Paterno retires.

Approached in the parking lot at Beaver Stadium, where he is part of the ABC/ESPN broadcast team for Saturday’s game between the Nittany Lions and Iowa, Meyer said, “I’m not going to say anything. There’s no truth to” the report.

A blog operated by Jeff Rapp, a veteran Ohio State beat writer, posted an item Friday saying that Penn State officials talked to Meyer when he was in Happy Valley to do a pre-season interview for ESPN, and contacted him again last month.

The report, which quoted a source close to Meyer, was described as “inaccurate” Friday by Penn State president Graham Spanier.

Rumors about the 84-year-old Paterno, who is in the final year of his contract, are expected to increase as the season nears an end. In his 46th season as head coach of the Lions, he has won 405 games in his career.

Citing health reasons, the 46-year-old Meyer stepped down as Florida’s coach at the end of the 2011 season, which ended with the Gators’ 37-24 win over Penn State in the Outback Bowl.

Since that time, a popular scenario is that Meyer would sit out a year, enjoy the less stressful world of broadcasting, and then accept the Penn State job if Paterno retired at the end of this season.

--Joe Juliano

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