BREAKING NEWS: Joe Paterno near death

A family spokesman says former Penn State coach Joe Paterno, who is battling  lung cancer, is in serious condition after experiencing health  complications.

The 85-year-old Paterno has been in the hospital since Jan. 13 for  observation for what his family had called minor complications from cancer  treatments.

“Over the last few days Joe Paterno has experienced further health  complications,” spokesman Dan McGinn said in a brief statement Saturday to The Associated Press. “His doctors have now characterized his status as serious.

“His family will have no comment on the situation and asks that their privacy be respected during this difficult time,” he said.

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