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. The Uninformed

    I, like all of you should, detest the fact that children have to live through abuse of any sort. I, like all of you have not, will not pass judgement on anyone involved in this on going case. Not one person on this thread knows one single thing to be a fact. Yet you speculate and persecute.This country has fallen to pieces because of people like you all.Let the law decide what is fact and what is fiction. Have you not learned that what you read in the press is merely speculation. God almighty this country is doomed! You should be so ashamed, Oh... and ready to learn Chinese

    November 9, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      This country is falling to pieces b/c folks are upset that a college football coach who was told by a graduate assistant of an act of child molestation and did nothing is resigning? And, in his resignation, admits he should have done more? THAT's why the country is "falling to pieces." Interesting.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Deathstalker

    I don't know why everyone is so up in arms about this. Why is Joe at fault here he reported what he had heard which makes it hear say. No facts no pictures no smoking gun. And he reported it to his boss to take care of and went back to work. Why is he at fault why should he go up against a wall? How many of you have heard from so and so that this so and so did this and come to find out it was all crap. I have and I don’t work with nearly that many people that Joe works with every day. How many times a week does he hear slander from so and so about so and so. Hell he might have to go to the cops every week to report something that some said if he takes it at face value. Bunch of hypocritical morons IMO.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • midwestrail

      What do you think Joe would have done had this 10 year old victim been his grandchild ?

      November 9, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      How many times a week does he hear slander involving child molestation from a graduate assistant working for the football team? Yeah, we're the morons. It's too bad you weren't in that shower with Sandusky instead.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Considering the report came from someone Paterno knew as his quarterback from 94-97 and his assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the past 8 years, someone who worked closely with Joe every day for 8 years, I would think the report could be taken at least at face value. It's not like the Treasurer of Delta Tau Delta stopped him on the street and said something crazy about a coach.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uniblob

      Really?? You frequently have coworkers that eye-witness the molestation of a ten year old? He told his boss for gosh sakes, give the guy a break. OMG.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Scott

    If someone came up to Paterno in 2002 and reported what was seen, but instead of Sandusky it was a janitor, the headlines in 2002 would have read "Paterno assists police in arrest of child predator". I also think that everyone knows that if administrators knew any additional information regarding Sandusky besides the 2002 report it would obviously be run by Joe to keep him abreast of anything that could tarnish his program and the cash cow for the school. I hope and pray that the victims of these horrible acts can get some closure knowing that the monster that did this will now be made to answer for his crimes. Shame on all people who knew and didn't do what was needed to prevent more children from being abused.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoeWagner

      The "Someone" that reported the incident to Joe Pa was not only a graduate student but a former award winning QB at PSU and current member of the staff.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. frank

    Joe makes Barry Switzer look like a saint. He should be fired immediately!

    November 9, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dan Bee

    He was already scheduled to Retire... Where is the "New"s

    November 9, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Terps76

    Treated just like a Catholic Priest. What a sham and shame!!!

    November 9, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. herrsonic

    Probably should have left in the mid 90's when Penn State was no longer a contender due to JoPa's outdated football schemes. Maybe they will finally get a football coach who is up with the times.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason B.

      Paterno hasn't coached in years anyway. He's just the beloved figurehead. It's all the assistants that do the work.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoeWagner

      One of those assistants is the person who saw the abuse and reported it to JoePa.

      Why is McQueary not under attack and being asked to leave?

      November 9, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 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 |
    • Ryan

      hee haw hee haw

      November 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Salad Spinner

      Take your drivel and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • mbb1

      So Sarah, you'd feel the same if it was your kid? I'm pretty sure pedophiles and their protectors deserve all the judgment thrust upon them, and a taste of their own medicine. Sandusky is going to have a great time in prison.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thenextstep

    Forcing the greate college coach out of his for this.......... It REALLY sucks.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Stewie

    "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,"

    Its not like we expect you to go into aburning building to save a child......just have the moral courage to tell Police. But you took the coward's way out and kids paid for it for 10 more years. Way to go Joe

    November 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoeWagner

      Joe Pa reported the incident. How is that doing nothing?

      November 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |


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

      Read the above story. It says it all.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tiff

    He reported it to the proper authority. He was attempting to keep it semi private by going directly to the Attoirney General.. If that person did nothing then it should be her that is in trouble not Paterno.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • JoeWagner

      That someone is Tim Curley and he is being prosecuted.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ed

    JoPa is more disgusting than the sicko he enabled all these years. How many more kids were abused since he sat on his hands? Coach K or Dean Smith or Bear Bryant would have walked down the hall and beat the crap out of this guy.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. imaclutz

    Joe Paterno is the fall guy in all of this......where's the graduate student that witnessed the abuse??? After reporting the incident to Coach Paterno, did HE go any further??? Why didn't HE report it to the police as well? While abuse should not be tolerated in any shape, way or form, Joe Paterno did not do anything wrong. Should he have inquired more? Maybe so, but he did report it.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barbara in Harrisburg PA

      He didn't do anything wrong?

      He allowed a known child molester to keep working around him, and never confronted him, nor called the police on him. If the DA of Centre County knew about allegations back in 1998, do you honestly think the school (and by default, JoePa) didn't?

      Sandusky committed a CRIME. It would be no different than watching someone pour gasoline around a house with sleeping people in it, and tossing a match. Would it be okay if that person just calls their boss, the next day, and let's them know what they saw?? And while this isn't murder per se, Sandusky DID kill a part of every one of the kids he touched. Every. Last. One.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Donald

    Mr. Paterno should retire immediately. Let the message be crystal clear. No matter if you are a CEO or a Janitor, a Priest or a Rock Star, if you have even the slightest notion that a child is being abused in any way, call the police.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
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