Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has decided to retire at the end of the season, according to the Associated Press.
“This is a tragedy,” Paterno said in a statement Wednesday. “It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”
Paterno has been besieged by criticism since former defensive coordinator and once heir apparent Jerry Sandusky was charged over the weekend with molesting eight young boys between 1994 and 2009.
Athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz have been charged with failing to notify authorities after an eyewitness reported a 2002 assault.
Though Paterno is not accused of any wrongdoing, he has been questioned over his apparent failure to follow up on a report of the 2002 incident.
Paterno’s statement Wednesday:
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.
- Brad Wolverton, reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education