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. Terry

    This crap didn't happen just yesterday, this stuff went on years under his very nose and when Paterno supposedly was first told of the crime, what did he do? He passed the buck What if this had been one of his grandchildren. This guy, in one scandal, has wiped all the respect that a lifetime of coaching earned him. Every day that he is associated with Penn State is another black eye on Penn State. The whole nation is appalled if your lack of outrage and indefensible inaction.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. k-man

    Any state school has to report it to the police and they did not. Paterno reported only to his superiors and they should of to the authorities. So they ban the guy from using the campus for his programs only. Paterno needs to step down iimmediate. If his superiors already have is proof enough he should as well as they all were aware of Sandusky and allowed him to walk the streets..and still molest. It is a CRIME of what he did as they all allowed without report to the authorities and they are just as guilty. Crime to all this BS is about now...and don't compare to what is correct to do. The supporters of Joe Pa....only are of support of his legacy at PSU....even though I agree he has been a good coach for PSU and given back to PSU in many ways. So that being said...all the supporters to say allow him to retire as he wants too at the end of the season...would have a different view if it happened to their child...and you don't need that to make a logical and ethical choice.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. non PSU alum

    So many of the PSU backers are soooo worried about what would happen if JoPa was suddenly gone.
    Have you watched the PSU games for the last couple of years? The guy walks around around like he is in a daze on the sidelines. He never wears a headset because he's not involved in the ongoing game. He doesn't decide who's in or out what plays should be called on defense or offense. He gets credit for his 409th win? what a joke he had nothing to do with it. Credit for the last 20 to 30 wins would better given to a goalpost. Fire the enabler.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bob C

    Matt...your idol blew it......he will eventually pay the price and idiots like you will see how culpability and the law actually works......they only need the evidence that he looked the other way....which will surface..........Your boy really blew it.......take a lesson and realign your morality.....find some heros worth idolizing.

    November 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CB

    I know this comment is a stretch – but for all you people defending Paterno.....think of Pete Rose....
    Here is a guy who's legacy will go down in disgrace for something really as harmless as betting on baseball while he was involved in the game....and his disgrace was well deserved. Paterno and his cohorts – one apparently guilty of CHILD MOLESTATION – and another saw it happen – and did NOTHING – and Paterno – HIS BOSS – was given the appropriate information......but still allowed CHESTER the MOLESTER into the facilities.....never seeming to question whether it was fact or fiction – turning a cowardess blind eye – only worrying about the machine....DISGUSTING !!!

    November 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dr

    Stop allowing comments on News Stories PERIOD! Don't you get it? Your creating Hateful conversations every minute of everyday!

    November 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Marc

    This rush to judgement is sad. I will say up front that I do not like "JoPa" and I am from Pennsylvania. My parents went to Pitt. The rush to judgement here is nothing more than a lynching. He did what he was supposed to do. Just like any other crime it is not the responsibility of the witness or someone who has hearsay testimony to pursue the police or any other agency to resolve a "crime" Why is no one wanting the assistant's head, only JoPa's? If this man was not famous it would not even be a story in any way, shape or form.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GUEST

    What should he be in jail for? Because his bosses and the the police didn't do their jobs. Wow you guys must have not read the same story I did. He wasn't standing next to the sicko as he was meeting these kids, taking them to footbal games sleeping in the hotel room, at his house in the shower or at the place he had created for the kids with difficult backgrounds. He had his family there and adoptive kids there as well. No one would have thought twice about it. JoePa did what he thought was helping this child by REPORTING IT to his bosses and they are the ones that didn't do what they were suppose to. The only think that I see as being really wrong by Joe was that he didn't follow up to find out what happen with what he had told them. I would be more mad if he knew and he never told anyone then I would be saying the same as most of you and get rid of him. This is sad for all the children that this jerk hurt.

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

      The problem I have, is this pedophile was Joe's ASSISTANT coach...he knew the guy had carte blanch access to countless children...THAT would have been reason enough to take this way further than he did, especially when he saw his higher ups were NOT taking it further.

      November 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. my opinion

    Just my instincts, but when I first heard about this & the cover up...I thought, there has got to be more than this one abuser 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 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveK

      Joe made a mistake. He did a lot of good things at Penn State Influnenced a lot of young peoples lives. Nobodys perfect. The bottom line is he should have reported this to the police

      November 9, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. DEEJ

    Fortunately people like you have nothing to do with the justice system.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. fubar2011

    Don't let him quit, don't let him retire, FIRE THIS COWARD.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Your Child

    Joe allowed me to get cornholed.

    How can you not take this seriously?

    Fire this man and send him and his entire sick football staff to jail.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. yo

    Make him retire NOW.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. LN


    THE KIDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You continue to rant and rave about JoePA and his error in judgement. The media and everyone else who can't see past JoePa should be ashamed of yourselves.

    November 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • my opinion

      NO, WE are not forgetting the kids....THEY IGNORED the kids.
      The reason for all this outrage is we are REMEMBERING the KIDS!
      And mark my words...there are MANY more KIDS than has been reported.
      This is just as bad as the catholic priest scandal.

      November 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CB

    The guy still can;t see past his own self interests -
    If I was Paterno....I think I would come forward – resign – and offer up myself to help out in any way, shape or form in order to bring this to a conclusion and assist in any way possible the victims of the MOLESTER. But – there's a game on Saturday.....and that's what is really important here, right Joe?

    November 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • fubar2011

      They should invite these children to the game on Sat. and have them on the sideline along side Paterno.

      November 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • fubar2011

      Maybe they should give them a few minutes alone with Joe.

      November 9, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
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