Joe Paterno to retire at season's end
Joe Paterno, who has coached at Penn State for 45 years, is not facing charges in the case.
November 9th, 2011
10:28 AM ET

Joe Paterno to retire at season's end

Legendary Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno will retire at the end of the season, he said Wednesday in a statement. Paterno's move comes in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal involving a former assistant football coach.

“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,” he said.

iReport: What's your reaction?

“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."

The Nittany Lions’ starting tailback Silas Redd tweeted Wednesday that he first learned of Paterno's retirement from the Internet. “Crazy how twitter knew before the squad did,” Redd said on the social-networking site.

Paterno expressed regret for not acting with more urgency after learning of the abuse allegations against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

"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," he said. "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.”

iReport: Penn State student praises Paterno

Paterno's decision comes after Penn State's board of trustees said Tuesday it will create a special committee to investigate the sex abuse allegations, which became public last week after the release of a grand jury report on the case.

Some have called for Paterno to resign because of his response to allegations brought to him in 2002 by a graduate assistant, who said he had seen Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the shower at the campus football complex.

Several Paterno supporters weighed in on CNN iReport, expressing sadness that his legacy would be tarnished.

“I would like to see him go out on his own terms, but obviously that will not happen,” said Penn State Senior Tom McGlinchey. “If you look at the big picture of what he's done for this university, it shouldn't (be) overshadowed by the scandal ...The student body won't forget what he's done.”

But iReporter Egberto Willies said Paterno is being held to a different standard.

“Let’s be frank. Had this not been Joe Paterno, the legendary coach, we would not even be talking about whether he should resign,” Willies said.

Penn State's Paterno faces pressure to quit

Paterno's contract was due to expire at the end of this season. He has been the head coach since 1966.

Paterno reported the allegations to his boss. Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said it appeared Paterno had met his obligations under state law, but some critics have said the coach should have reported the suspected abuse to police.

Sandusky, who was arrested Saturday, is accused of sexual offenses, child endangerment and "corruption of a minor" involving eight boys, most or all of whom he met through the Second Mile, the charity he founded to help troubled youth, according to prosecutors.

Timeline: Abuse claims date back to 1994

Two other Penn State officials have also been arrested and accused of failing to report the abuse. On Sunday, the university said the officials had stepped down, one of them returning to retirement and the other taking administrative leave.

It is unclear whether the university’s board of trustees will allow Paterno to finish the season or push for an immediate exit in light of increasing fallout from the abuse allegations.

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Filed under: College football • Jerry Sandusky • Joe Paterno • Penn State • Sports • U.S.
soundoff (1,074 Responses)
  1. Stewie

    He had an assistant coach who was an eyewitness come to him .....you are blind, deaf, and dumb.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JOE

    Good! Go retire and give someone else a chance. When was the last time you won a major bowl game anyway? Bye Bye your great grandchildren need you.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. David

    Will you guys visit HelpFaye.ORG a friend of mine is fighting for her life.... Thanks

    November 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • IndyJim

      No you spammer.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • trigtwit palin... America's favorite tard baby.

      Here. See if this helps... *poot*

      November 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • SmartrthnU

      Sure, here's a dollar.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Will do. Wow, way to have a heart Indy.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • His Boy Elroy

      Faye got cancer for scamming people on the Internet.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • 4Axed

      Every single story, every single day for years you have left spam about Faye, I've had enough!!!! Please STOP! I have sick friends and family too, but that doesn't mean I need to make everyone else aware of it or guilt them into forking over $$.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Guest

    This idiot isn't worthy of being called a man. He could have done more to help and he didn't.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • SmartrthnU

      He complied with his requirements; your call for him to have "done more" is stupid. Just stupid. You should have thought about this more before you posted your stupid remark.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tracie

    How many times over the years did the parents of any of these children call the police? That would have been the first call I made & I would have demaded justice. God help the person who thought they could get away with molesting my child. That perp wouldn't survive the justice this Mama brought down on him.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chaos

      1. They may not have known
      2. They may have
      3. Even if they didn't, its irrelevant to the coach's conduct. Lack of of it actually.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed

    Luke 12:1-59
    ...Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops...

    It doesn't matter whether you believe God's word, or not. His word produces just what it says.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • huh_what_you_talking_about_Willis

      Ok then..Where is Jimmy Hoffa?

      November 9, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan-KY

      Oh sure- what about the other people who do not get caught? Does your magic god punish them after they die? Seems to me like punishment in this life has nothing to do with your religion- so keep your religion out of it.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Jimmy Hoffa: Only a matter of time.....

      November 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • His Boy Elroy

      Jimmy Hoffa is probably in the corner of Joe Paterno's basement.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah S

      1 Corinthians 4:5 ESV
      Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart....

      November 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. FredHarpua

    Michelle....Joe Paterno didnt see the boy in the shower. Maybe you should read before posting?

    November 9, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 4Axed

    Jerry Sandusky's act(s) will not cloud, in my mind, everything that Joepa has accomplished. I'm not even a Penn St fan, but Paterno is an icon and I hope that most will remember him for the good and not what his sick-nasty ex-coach did. Blaming all for the actions of one or a few is wrong.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Disgusted

    Sports has been exalted all too much in the US. Paterno, etc. apparently thought they were so special that they could get away with ignoring the law. And what a terrible tragedy that harm came to children! How can those who knew what was happening but didn't insist on police involvement live with themselves!

    November 9, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. motsimoto

    Good riddance!

    November 9, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Richie

    He wishes he would have done more. How about done SOMETHiNG. Guilty!

    November 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • SmartrthnU

      You should really learn to read, Richie. Quote: "Paterno reported the allegations to his boss. Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda Kelly said it appeared Paterno had met his obligations under state law". I guess facts don't have to get in the way of your biased mouth-dribble.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. brsln

    Paterno is another victim of the 24 hr news cycle..mounting pressure from news sources outside PA, who have no vested interest in this story. Such a shame to end his career under a cloud...

    November 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chaos

      You think HE is a victim?

      November 9, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. michael

    He has to pay the price of one bad man Joe is a outstanding person a lot of young men learned how to play football and to to be better people . hats of to you Mr Paterno from minnesota by way of germany

    November 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Edgar

    Man, there are a lot of very angry people making a lot of very rude and uncaring comments. I worry about humanity; we are not too far away from collapse as a species.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joann

    I support the Death Penalty for those that aid in Child Molestation.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
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