Joe Paterno, the long time coach at Penn State, will reportedly retire at year’s end. Any other year, this would be a cause of celebration to celebrate the legacy that is JoePa, the man who is the all-time career leader in victories with 409 and counting. The man who has been coaching since the leather helmet days. The man who has become synonymous with one of the most highly regarded institutions throughout the land, Penn State.
But…unfortunately it is not. JoePa is being forced out of town very quckly because of the now infamous sex scandal involving one of his former assistants Jerry Sandusky, and truth be told if he wasn’t JoePa, he would’ve already been gone by now.
Coach Joe Paterno issued a statement today saying that he is devastated by the effects of child sex abuse scandal.
“I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief,” Paterno said in a statement released just after initial reports confirming his pending retirement.
“I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today.
“That’s why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can.
This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more. My goals now are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this university.”
Paterno is planning to coach the 12th-ranked Nittany Lions in Saturday’s home game — their last home game of this season –against No. 19 Nebraska.
Paterno has been besieged by criticism since Sandusky, his former defensive coordinator, 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, 84, is in the middle of his 46th season with the Nittany Lions. He’s 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.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.