Paterno Says He Will Retire as Penn State Head Coach at End of Season

BY News Desk  November 9, 2011 at 11:00 AM EST


Joe Paterno receives a plaque celebrating his 409th career win on Oct. 29, 2011 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images.

Legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, in the middle of his 46th season, announced Wednesday that he will retire in light of allegations of sexual abuse against former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who was arrested Saturday on 40 counts of child sexual abuse after a three-year grand jury investigation.

Two other Penn State employees were also arrested on charges that they failed to report the abuse.

In a statement, Paterno said:

“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.”

We talked to Sara Ganim, reporter for The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., for a rundown of the case on Monday:

Under growing pressure to resign in recent days for not reporting the alleged incidents to police, fans gathered at Paterno’s home in a show of support for “Joe Pa” Tuesday night.

Paterno has worked as head coach since 1966.

We’ll have more on the latest developments and the growing firestorm on Wednesday’s NewsHour.