Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions during warmups before facing the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 11, 2010 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Getty Images)more pics » Joe Paterno (Getty Images) Joe Paterno
, division I college football's all-time winningest coach, will retire at the end of this season. After years of hearing that JoePa has earned the right to go out on his own terms, the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal has forced his hand because Paterno failed to do everything in his power to address allegations of child sex abuse against his former defensive coordinator.
The idyllic college town of State College, PA, was hit by controversy and tragedy when it was revealed that Sandusky was arrested on 40 counts relating to sexual abuse of eight young boys over a 15-year period, including incidents that occurred at Penn State. After a grand jury investigation, it was reported that Paterno had been notified by another assistant in 2002 that he had seen Sandusky performing a sex act on a young boy in the Penn State football show facilities.
Although Paterno immediately informed the athletic director of the university, advocates for child abuse victims are up in arms that the head coach did not go to the police, accusing him of protecting the Penn State reputation over the safety of a child. Paterno also faces criticism for allowing Sandusky to retain use of football facilities after knowledge of sexual abuse allegations.
A visibly shaken and sad Paterno announced his retirement with the following statement: 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."
Paterno's last home game as head coach of the Nittany Lions is this Saturday.
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