Longtime Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno said Wednesday this would be his last season with the Nittany Lions, according to cbssports.com.
The announcement is prompted by a sex scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky which has rocked the entire PSU campus and lead to charges against some college officials for failying to alert police.
Paterno released this statement on Wednesday:
“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.
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.”
The decision for Paterno to step down comes after the college football community was rocked with the molestation charges against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, and charges against athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz for failing to notify authorities after an eyewitness reported an assault in 2002.
Paterno had not been accused of any wrongdoing legally, but details from the investigation have brought criticism on the game’s winningest coach for not doing more to stop Sandusky. The state police commissioner called Paterno’s actions a “lapse of moral responsibility.”
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