Paterno Tipped Off James the NCAA Was Coming
Don James barely had a chance to celebrate his 1992 national championship when the Washington football coach heard a knock at the door.
He was attending a national coaches' convention, staying in a hotel, otherwise receiving everyone's congratulatory greetings.
He found Joe Paterno, Penn State's legendary coach, standing in the hallway outside his room.
JoePa felt it necessary to share intel he had come across, that his esteemed colleague from the Northwest would have his program scoured by the NCAA for any possible wrongdoing. It had hired someone to look into things. They always found something.
It came with the territory after running the table. The college games' largest athletics governing body often presumed that if a program won it all, it had to have done something inappropriate.
It happened to Florida State and Bobby Bowden. USC and Pete Carroll went under an intense microscope and its program was turned upside down. Hopefully, LSU will avoid any scrutiny in the coming days.
James, with his overly dominant 12-0 team, was now in the NCAA's crosshairs. He had been warned. He would have 10 months to ready himself for a backlash.
Former UW and NFL defensive lineman Lynn Madsen shares this tale of intrigue in one of his podcasts coming out of Texas, which he calls home now. His source is impeccable.
Madsen, a regular contributor to Husky Maven/Sports Illustrated from the Lone Star state, was closer than most players to Don James after their careers ended. He went to visit the coach in California.
He and his UW teammates were responsible for getting the coach's bronze statue built outside Husky Stadium. He's now trying to put together a Don James museum.
Listen to Madsen break down this story of the meeting between Don James and Joe Paterno, and the beginning of the end for the Huskies coach.