Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno To Retire Effective End Of Season

You have to quit Joe. Now not later.

The sexual abuse scandal involving former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky has forced one of the most iconic sports figures to retire. Joe Paterno will leave his head coaching position effective at end of season. It’s arguable, Paterno was the most powerful man in Pennsylvania. He joined the school in 1950 as an assistant.

Joe Paterno’s 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 is the reason most attend Penn State. He’s affectionately known as Joe Pa and we’ve probably seen one of the last coaches do it until they’re an octogenarian. 883 coaches have come and gone in his 45 years as head coach and his 409 wins are most in Division 1 history. He’s 25-12-1 in the postseason and 12-5 in BCS contests. Paterno has had 350 of his players go on to the NFL (32 1st round picks), generated millions for the school, the state of Pennsylvania and college football. He’s won 2 (’82, ’86) national championships (5 undefeated seasons), graduated hundreds of players and hasn’t be the focus of any wrongdoing…until now.

The sexual abuse case involving Sandusky, 67,  is something we’ve never seen on this level.

The scandals at Miami, Ohio State and USC pale in comparison. This cannot be overstated. Also the questions must be asked how the NCAA could not have known of this and if Mike McQueary witnessed the crime in ’98 why wasn’t the report filed until ’02? (Correction: During the 6pm SportsCenter, former PSU DE Michael Haynes alluded that janitors witnessed the ’98 incident. What McQueary saw was another incident? That makes this more sick.)

If the NCAA went after the aforementioned schools with such an iron fist, it better do the same with Penn State University.

Sandusky is charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse between the years of 1994-2005. All of his victims were from the home he founded in ’77 for troubled boys, Second Mile. He retired as defensive coordinator in 1999 to focus more of his time to the group home. We now have an indication why he left so abruptly. Friends of mine close to the program were miffed Sandusky retired when everything seemed to be going well in Happy Valley.

Mothers of two of Jerry Sandusky’s alleged victims have lashed out at Penn State officials’ handling of scandal.

Mike McQueary, PSU QB from ’94-97 (means he’s more responsible), was the graduate assistant who in 1998 witnessed Sandusky having sex with one of his young victims in the shower, told the boy’s father and reported it to the school. The administration has been accused of virtually ignoring the 2002 report.

Why McQueary didn’t stop the crime is the biggest question in my mind. Even with this knowledge, Sandusky was permitted to use campus facilities until the present.

This is sick. It’s difficult to write any of this. I can’t read the indictment (grand jury presentment .pdf) and won’t. We all have to ask ourselves what we would do if we were Joe Paterno. He told the administration but that was not enough and Paterno coaching to the end of this season is just another bad decision.

Students are protesting on Paterno’s behalf but what about the victims? I hope as these students mature, they understand the error or their current judgement.

School President Graham Spanier, Joe Paterno and AD Tim Curley did not go to the police to save themselves. Period. College football is big business and as scandals came and went, these three and others did nothing.

It’s sad you had to go out this way coach. You enabled Jerry Sandusky and could have done a lot more to help the victims begin some sort of therapeutic path a long time ago.

He was your friend and some might feel sorry for you as a result but what about the abused kids? They are the victims of this scandal. Not your legacy, not your friendship with Sandusky, not the confused kids at PSU who adored you…not the bs “integrity” that is college football and sure as hell not the image of Penn State University.

You were a great coach but because you did not do more, you’re leadership abilities were suspect retroactive to your knowledge of any of this. What else did you turn a blind eye to? Harsh, but true.

You or Mike McQueary should not be on the sideline this Saturday vs. Nebraska. It’s disrespectful to the victims, their loved ones and quite honestly anyone who has ever been involved with the Penn State University program.

It’s sad…because the state of PA and the sports world at large should be properly mourning the passing of Smokin’ Joe Frazier (RIP Heavy D as well), but as this scandal gains more steam in the press. What else will be unearthed?

Quit now coach. Be peace.

(Addendum 10:16pm: According to ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi, Joe Paterno is out and has coached his last game at PSU. Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley takes over on an interim basis. Graham Spainer out as President as well. )

 

53 Responses to “Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno To Retire Effective End Of Season”

  1. Origin says:

    Miranda either he has a death wish or he knows something we don’t and he is a Teflon Don.

  2. [...] 46 years coaching at the same university will do that. We can scrutinize his handling of the scandal and rightfully so, but this honestly isn’t the time for [...]

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