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. tville_dad

    he should be gone now he is no better the actual child molester

    November 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • rayge

      Yep–even worse, is the person who stands by and does nothing.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • my opinion

      When I first heard about this & the cover up...I thought, there has got to be more than this one man involved in the actual acts of pedophelia here...that would be a BIG reason for covering this one man's a$$, so to speak.

      November 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. RM

    Joe needs to feel the brunt of his inaction and immediately be relieved of his duties as coach. Not at the end of the season....................NOW!

    November 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. mama2009

    To all of thos parents who in 46 years of coaching trusted Joe P with their athletic sons: what if the victim was your son? What you want him to do? As a society, we must stop putting fame fortune and yes even sports records ahead of our youth. He needs to do the honorable thing now and GO!!

    November 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • rayge

      That is what happened, sports & money came first.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ben James

    This pedophile enabler should be FIRED NOW!

    November 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • tville_dad

      and arrested...I know he did not do anything legally wrong ... what he did not do was much worse

      November 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. OMG

    they are all legends in their own crooked little minds.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Stewie

    Is Penn State an all boys school?

    November 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kevin

    I'm just glad to see his focus remains on helping the University and his players....maybe he should have reassessed those priorities a decade ago and given some of that "focus" to helping these innocent children. What a horribly misguided "adult"! The board of trustees better fire him NOW.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Madjacksmom

    Good riddance. The protection of a CHILD should always come before protecting your win-loss record. People don't expect to walk into a situation of seeing someone abusing a child and are at a loss for what to do. Let's all decide right now that if we ever encounter that situation that we WON'T walk away leaving the child still in the clutches of his attacker. That we will step in and take immediate control of the child and take the child straight to the proper authorities.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Uniblob

    This will really start to get interesting in the coming weeks as other administrators and employees of Penn State start whistleblowing to keep themselves from being charged. Paterno should be fired if Penn State has any hope at all of surviving this.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. fubar2011

    If Paterno was a real man he would retire NOW.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uniblob

      He clearly demonstrated what kind of man he was 10 years ago, when he CHOSE not to report this to the police.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Karla

    He is nothing but a fallen hero..

    November 9, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uniblob


      November 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • fubar2011

      He is nothing but a power loving old ugly man.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • CB

      and...a hero?
      damn you people need to get a life !!
      he was F'N football coach for gods sake !!!!!!
      a bunch of sheep you are !

      November 9, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dexter

    P in Penn is for Pedophiles - True...

    November 9, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Will

    Google Ray Gricar. . .you folks don't know how deep this goes!

    November 9, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • fubar2011

      I just read an article about Gricar, very interesting.

      November 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bamafan

    Joe Paterno represents all the good in college sports. He has ensured that thousands of young men get an education while also having a chance to learn discipline and determination. Everyone here seems to expect perfection-why don't you point out the plank sticking out of some real criminals eyes before you point out Joe's splinters. Yes, the buck stops at the leader of an organization and I think there are decisions we'd all make differently had we known the final, unseen outcome. Joe did what he felt was appropriate in giving the information to his superiors. I wish JoePa would have had one final season to get the standing ovations he deserves in every stadium he went to.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uniblob

      Standing ovation for a man who CHOSE not to report a child molester to the police. Careful you don't lose your own moral compass.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      He would get deservedly booed at every stadium with fans understanding the gravity of what his inaction caused. Shame on him and shame on PSU.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • CB

      he would certainly be in harms way....

      November 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Yes Joe did create and maintain a strict disciplined program that was known thru out the country as a high caliber program. But to say that he did all he should have and that he is some great person that deserves accolades is asinine. Just ask the boy's what it was like to have that nasty old man do unspeakable acts to them. What if that had been your little brother, best friend, cousin or your son? I think most of you yanks are ok but the ones that want Joe to stay and are telling the University they should allow the student to decide who run's the school., are complete "liberal loonies that lean left" nut-case's . Y'all should be made to watch several hours of these vile acts.

      November 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. fubar2011

    How can they play football this Sat. if Paterno is on the sidelines.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uniblob

      Ask the boys that were molested.

      November 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob C

      if that fool shows up we are in for a zoo............I can't believe the school is not applying damage control and getting this 'accomplice' off their radar pronto......

      November 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
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