By GENARO C. ARMAS
AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO -- Joe Paterno isn't one to hang a "Gone Fishing" sign on his door, so don't expect him to join Purdue coach Joe Tiller on one of his good friend's treasured fishing trips when Tiller retires after this season.
JoePa won't be asking Tiller for tips, either, about how to handle retirement whenever he's ready to call it quits at Penn State.
"You think I'll go to some guy who sits on his rear end to fish for advice," Paterno joked, eliciting laughs from a ballroom full of reporters at a Chicago hotel for Big Ten media days.
"I wouldn't bug Joe anyway. Joe's got to do what he's got to do, and hopefully I'll do what I have to do when it's time," Paterno said.
For Paterno, that means coaching his record 43rd season in the last year of his contract. He and school administrators have put off contract talks until after the season, and both sides have agreed that JoePa doesn't need something in writing to guarantee his job.
"I'm having a lot of fun," the 81-year-old Paterno said. "I don't want to get out of it, but yet I don't want to be too stupid that I go so far that I'm going to really not be able to leave it the way I'd like to leave it."
Tiller is in his own unique situation as he starts his 12th and final year leading Purdue. The school announced earlier this year that assistant Danny Hope would replace him in 2009. Hope will serve as associate head coach for this season.
The affable Tiller brought a pass-happy, spread offense into the Big Ten and now as many as eight other conference teams are using or plan to use at least some spread-style offense this fall.
"I think it was going to happen sooner or later," Tiller said about the growing popularity of the spread. "Young people like to throw and catch and run around and high-five each other and enjoy having fun playing the game. I think the style of offense is a fun style, I guess, to participate in."
What hasn't been fun for Tiller is playing Penn State, which is 9-2 against the Boilermakers since the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten in 1993. The 65-year-old Tiller and his wife are buddies with Paterno and his wife.
"I seem to gravitate toward Coach Paterno more than anyone else, and maybe it's because I'm the closest to his age," Tiller said. "I just wish we could beat him on the field a little bit more."
He's got a fan in Paterno, who also plans to use some spread offense this fall.
"I thought he brought in a whole new concept to the Big Ten as to what we could do," Paterno said. "Joe came in and he started to open up problems and create a lot of problems. We in coaching are a lot of mimics.
Paterno said is he waiting for the grades on five players suspended for off-the-field problems before deciding whether to reinstate them to the team for the regular season. Each of the players have been allowed to work out with the team except for defensive tackle Phil Taylor, who cannot rejoin the team until Aug. 15.