Paying respects: Seahawks' Robinson bids farewell to Paterno

  • Associated Press
  • Published: Jan. 29, 2012 at 10:43 a.m.

HONOLULU -- Despite making his first trip to Hawaii, it's been a bittersweet and exhausting week for Seattle Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson.

Robinson, a Penn State alum, arrived on the islands Tuesday only to fly out after the next day's Pro Bowl practice to speak at the memorial services of his college coach, Joe Paterno. He then returned to Honolulu on Friday night on Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight's jet.

"Besides my religion and my mom, coach Paterno is the reason I'm here," Robinson said after practice Saturday.

The former Penn State coach died last Sunday of lung cancer at 85. His service Thursday drew some 12,000 people to the Penn State arena.
"I just really wanted to convey that just because coach Paterno isn't with us any more -- he impacted so many people's morals, his vision with the Grand Experiment and everything he believed in -- his values need to continue to live on through us and the people's he's touched," said Robinson, who played for Paterno from 2002 to 2005.
Paterno won 409 games, more than any other major college football coach, led the Nittany Lions to two national championships, making him an icon at State College.
However, he was fired Nov. 9 after he was criticized for not going to police in 2002 when he was told that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky had been seen sexually assaulting a boy in the showers. Sandusky was arrested in November and is awaiting trial on charges that he molested 10 boys over a 15-year span.
Robinson, who helped Marshawn Lynch become the Seahawks' first 1,000-yard rusher since 2005, said he's a bit emotionally and physically drained from the week, but he wouldn't miss out on the Pro Bowl, or the service.

"To me, it's not making an effort, it was something that I had to do," he said, about saying farewell to his coach.