By Oren Liebermann and Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno is in serious condition.

Quoting individuals close to the family, The Washington Post reported on its website that Paterno remained connected to a ventilator, but had communicated his wishes not to be kept alive through any extreme artificial means. The paper said his family was weighing whether to take him off the ventilator on Sunday.

Joe Paterno’s doctors said that the former Penn State coach’s condition had become “serious,” following complications from lung cancer in recent days.

“Over the last few days Joe Paterno has experienced further health complications,” family spokesman Dan McGinn said in a brief statement Saturday to The Associated Press. Reports early Saturday indicated Paterno was ‘near death,’ but doctors confirm his condition is serious.

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

Paterno, 85 years old, was the head coach of the Penn State football program for 46 years until he was let go in 2011 after the arrest of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky for child sexual abuse charges.

Paterno was diagnosed with lung cancer shortly after his termination.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The AssociatedPress contributed to this report.)

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