Penn State coach Joe Paterno was taken by ambulance yesterday from his State College residence to Mount Nittany Medical Center after complaining of nausea.

Paterno, 81, had spent part of the morning speaking by telephone with two recruits when he began to feel ill.

University spokesman Guido D'Elia said Paterno, who was treated for dehydration, was "tapping his fingers, waiting to get out," and he was released after several hours of tests and treatment. Today he's on his way to Austin, Texas, for a dinner honoring University of Texas football coach Mack Brown.

"It's no big deal," Jay Paterno, Joe's son and Penn State's quarterbacks coach, told the Associated Press. "If it's dehydration, he's probably all talked out."

JoePa, who has stuck closer to home in recent years, has maintained a busy schedule of late. He was in King of Prussia last Saturday to speak to the Delaware Valley chapter of the Nittany Lion Club, after which he flew to Chicago to attend a meeting of Big Ten Conference football coaches.

Paterno is coming off two 9-4 seasons that each included bowl wins. *

- Bernard Fernandez