I don't subscribe to the Penn State site "Blue and White Illustrated", but it certainly sounds like they recently posted some interesting reading.
In an article penned by Phil Grosz for the site, the writer basically accuses Pitt of capitalizing on the recent health problems of Joe Paterno for the purpose of recruiting, especially in the recent case of DT Marquise Wright.
It now appears that Penn State's recruiting competition, particularly Pitt, has seized on that opportunity to place doubt in players' minds like Wright, DB/WR Brandon Phelps from Demascus (Md.) who committed to Virginia, and quite possibly Rivals250 members DE Shawn Oakman from Lansdowne (Pa.) Pennwood and CB Kyshoen Jarrett from East Stroudsburg (Pa.) South.
It seems Pitt in particular has been successful in placing doubt in prospects' minds about Paterno's health and has convinced a number of prospective recruits that both teams aru e recruiting that the Nittany Lions' program is in a downward spiral.
There's no way Grosz knows exactly what Pitt is telling recruits, so this comes across as rather speculative. But if we're going to speculate, why single out Pitt? Just because they're having some success in New Jersey?
If Penn State has concerns that people are using Paterno's health issues against them, that hardly would qualify as breaking news. Paterno's been "old", at least by coaching standards, for a long time. I have zero connections with college recruiting, but wouldn't any kid making such an important choice wonder about the head of the program's well-being? That just seems to be common sense.
If Pitt (or any other school) is starting conversations with, "...well, Joe hasn't been in the best of health lately...", then that's not the way I would want to make my initial pitch to a player. And I highly doubt that Penn State is the first thing mentioned when he tries to lure a kid to Pitt.
But facts are facts. Penn State's coach is going to be 84 years old in a few months, and he did miss several appearances in May and June. If they want to eliminate that as a potential negative in recruiting, they are free to make any move they please. It's fine that they choose to stick with Paterno, for a variety of reasons, but they must also be aware that they're leaving the door open for stories like this in the process.
There's another way Penn State can settle their alleged beef with the Panthers, but until they're ready to meet them on the gridiron, I guess we'll have to settle for internet arrow-slinging between the schools' fans.