Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, who has one of the most successful careers in college football history, and University President Graham Spanier were fired Wednesday by the board of trustees among the school ignoring reports of alleged child sex abuse by a former assistant football coach. Their removal will be effective immediately.
While the legendary Paterno’s firing comes at a cost of losing the University’s longtime coach, the decision comes from criticisms in taking further actions in an abuse case in 2002 involving Jerry Sandusky with some allegedly occurring in the Penn State football facilities and sometimes on campus.Paterno is not a target of the criminal investigation, but merely scrutinized for not acting on current assistant coach Mike McQueary’s confession of witnessing Sandusky and a young boy in the Penn State locker room showers.
“This is a tragedy,” Paterno told CBS News. “It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”
Paterno announced his retirement at the end of his 46th season. Under his guidance, Paterno has an impressive 409 victories, won two national titles and led five teams to undefeated seaons. After the announcement of his firing, he released a statement.
“I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees’ decision, but I have to accept it. A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value.” –Eric Diep