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Local Radio Host Reflects On Relationship With Paterno

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Reaction over Joe Paterno's death continues to pour in and the calls were non-stop Monday morning on 93-7 The Fan.

Paul Alexander shared a special connection he had with the legendary coach on his show.

To Alexander, Paterno was a friend.

The Fan Morning Show host began his media career at State College writing for the student newspaper in 1981.

A year later, he covered Paterno's first national championship.

"Back in the day, not a lot of people covered Penn State, so it was more intimate, more personal and you develop a relationship," Alexander said.

That relationship grew over years as Alexander covered Penn State for both radio and television stations in the area.

When he moved back to Pittsburgh to work, Paterno was right there with support.

"I had a talk show on KDKA and he agreed to be my first guest, which was such an honor. He doesn't really like the media very much and he doesn't like doing that very much, and he was still taking shots. He said, 'I'd like to say we miss you but we don't, we miss your family,'" Alexander said.

When news of the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke, The Fan Morning Show was flooded with phone calls.

Today was no different.

Alexander said today's callers voiced mixed opinions.

"We live in a strange world these days. Everything is black or white. This guy is either evil or he's great. No one sees that this is a human being that did a lot of great things, that's flawed like every other human being and made what appears to be one pretty big mistake," Alexander said.

Alexander said although Paterno's legacy will always include what happened in the coach's final months, that doesn't take away from the all the good memories.

"This guy touched a lot of lives in a very positive way, and there's no way any other single human being did more for a single institution than Joe Paterno did for Penn State," Alexander said.

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