Joe Paterno Near Death: Update

Indiana State v Penn State Penn State head coach Joe Paterno addresses the media after the game against the Indiana State Sycamores on September 3, 2011 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Getty Images)more pics » Joe Paterno (Getty Images) Joe Paterno, the legendary former Penn State football coach, is reportedly near death. TMZ reports Paterno's family's rep says doctors have "characterized his status as serious," though his lawyer denied reports that he had already passed away.

A local paper is also reporting the coach's wife Sue has called on close friends and longtime staff members to State College hospital, apparently to say final goodbyes. The campus paper alleges Paterno has been taken off his respirator.

Paterno was diagnosed with cancer just days after being ousted from his position in November,  amidst the Jerry Sandusky child sex scandal. He was at the helm of the school's football program for an impressive 46 years.

"His family will have no comment on the situation and asks that their privacy be respected during this difficult time," spokesman Dan McGinn said this afternoon. Stay tuned for more updates.

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