Joe Paterno Fired From Penn State
There has been some predictable fallout amid the sex scandal that has recently plagued the legacy of Penn State football and its head coach Joe Paterno, 84, who failed to inform police of defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky's alleged sexual abuse of at least eight boys over a span of 15 years. Paterno was removed from his position on Wednesday, along with school President Graham Spanier, in a unanimous decision by Penn State's Board of Trustees.
"It was necessary for us to make a change in leadership and set a course for a new direction," John P. Surma, vice chairman of the board, said, reports The Los Angeles Times. Earlier on Wednesday, just before the university reached its decision, Paterno had issued a statement expressing his intention to resign at the end of this season — his 46th coaching Penn State football — thereby intending to take the matter off the table for the trustees. In a statement, he suggested that the board "not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can." He also expressed his regret at the entire situation, calling it "a tragedy" and "one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more," he said.
It was not enough, however, to appease the board. Wednesday night they announced that they were instating Paterno's assistant, Tom Bradley, as interim coach for the remainder of the season, immediately terminating Paterno's tenure. The longtime coach issued a statement, again expressing his regret. "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 have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be forever in your debt."
Spanier, who was also privy to information about the alleged sexual abuse, was also forced to step down.