Penn State football coach Joe Paterno will retire at the end of the season, his long and illustrious career brought down because he failed to do all he could about an allegation of child sex abuse against a former assistant.
“This is a tragedy,” Paterno said. “It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”
Paterno has been besieged by criticism since former defensive coordinator and one-time heir apparent Jerry Sandusky was charged over the weekend with molesting eight young boys between 1994 and 2009. Athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz have been charged with failing to notify authorities after an eyewitness reported a 2002 assault. Paterno decided to retire at age 84, in the middle of his 46th season with the Nittany Lions. He won 409 games, a record for major college football, but now, the grandfatherly coach known as “Joe Pa,” who had painstakingly burnished a reputation for winning “the right way,” leaves the only school he’s ever coached in disgrace.
“I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case,” he said. “I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief.”
But Paterno might not be able to execute his exit strategy as the school’s board of trustees is still considering its options, which could include forcing Paterno to leave immediately. Paterno has not been accused of legal wrongdoing. But he has been assailed, in what the state police commissioner called a lapse of “moral responsibility,” for not doing more to stop Sandusky, whose attorney maintains his client’s innocence. Paterno has been questioned over his apparent failure to follow up on a report of the 2002 incident, in which Sandusky allegedly sodomized a 10-year-old boy in the showers at the team’s football complex. A witness, Mike McQueary, is currently receivers coach for the team but was a graduate assistant at the time. Paterno told the athletic director, Tim Curley, who has since stepped down and has charged with lying to the state grand jury investigating the case. The Penn State vice president has also been charged, and the university president could follow. For more information check out the full article here or visit dailylocal.com! For all things West Chester and the surrounding areas make sure to check back soon!
- Jerry Sandusky Scandal: Seven Key Players in the Penn State Abuse Case (newsfeed.time.com)
- McDuffie: Paterno Will Probably Lose Job (nytimes.com)
- Report: Joe Paterno To Retire At The End Of The Season (tracking.si.com)