Paterno will resign as Penn St. coach
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 7:01 pm
By GENARO C. ARMAS
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has decided to retire at the end of the season, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The person said Paterno will announce his retirement later today.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the decision has yet to be announced.
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.
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.
But in the place known as Happy Valley, none held the same status as Paterno. And in the end, he could not withstand the backlash from a scandal that goes well beyond the everyday stories of corruption in college sports.
“If this is true we were all fooled, along with scores of professionals trained in such things, and we grieve for the victims and their families,” Paterno said Sunday, after the news broke, in a prepared statement.
Published in The Messenger 11.9.11