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Joe Paterno

Retiring After Football Season

'I Wish I Had Done More'

11/9/2011 7:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

1108_joe_paterno_BN_01
Penn St.
head football coach Joe Paterno just announced that he will retire at the end of the current football season ... calling the child molestation scandal, "one of the great sorrows of my life" and saying, "I wish I had done more."

Paterno released a statement saying, "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."

He added, "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."

Officials say Paterno had knowledge that former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky had allegedly sexually abused a pre-teen boy in the showers in the Penn State locker room back in 2002.

Paterno reported the incident to the athletic director at Penn State -- but failed to notify the police.

The police commissioner says Paterno has not been accused of legal wrongdoing, but claims Paterno did NOT fulfill his "moral responsibility."

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236 COMMENTS

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31.

ERP    

Remember Sandusky is the disgusting villian here. We don't know what conversation went on with Paterno and his young coach. Like most, I don't understand why no one followed up with the authorities and that includes the mother of the victim in 1998. I am not saying she did anything wrong, because she did report it to the authorities, who also dropped the ball. If this had happened to my child, after taking him to the Drs. and verifying that a sexual assault took place I would have been screaming about that Sandusky monster to anyone that would listen! I am also wondering why he suddenly retired in 1999 while in his mid 50's.

1026 days ago
32.

LoudMouth    

JoePa isn't just some run-of-the-mill football team employee. He was and IS the HEAD COACH. Not only that, he was and IS the face of that fine University. He was and IS in charge of the football program. The potential victims are now at 20. How many of them were abused after JoePa filed his report, wiped his hands clean and went back to football? This is appalling. He has to go asap.

1026 days ago
33.

TK    

After reporting this to the Athletic Director and seeing nothing being done about it, it was his job to take it further to the police. Not say, oh well, I did all I could. He of course, isn't the one who did the molesting but needs to be held accountable for doing absolutely nothing more about it. Sickening!

1026 days ago
34.

Dark December    

I know if I was sexually assaulted when I would do more with a loaded magazine when I was age, then go after the perp through the media. The "victims" are just as accountable as Sandusky. One or all of them should have stopped his pulse a long time ago!

1026 days ago
35.

Donna    

Not excusing JoPa's inaction at ALL, but why isn't anyone talking about the "moral responsibility" of the then-graduate assistant, now Penn State assistant football coach, who actually SAW the rape taking place? That guy called his dad, then told Paterno the next day, and that was it. WHY DIDN'T THAT GUY CALL 911 THE SECOND HE SAW THE RAPE TAKING PLACE????

1026 days ago
36.

sarah    

It's Happy Valley. They turn a blind eye to everything there that might have a negative effect on Penn State Football. I have a hard time believing that more people outside of the university didnt know. When you put football and winning above the safety and well being of your children there is a huge problem........As a Canes fan, all I can say is allof a sudden boats and hoes don't seem all that bad- at least it was for the kids.

1026 days ago
37.

Dave    

It's unreal that this guy is being crucified. Yes he probably should have said more. But we are vilifying this man like he was the one touching little boys. Makes me sick after all he has done for the school and college sports.

1026 days ago
38.

moso    

I don't think he should take the fall. Yes he should have called authorities but he thought he was doing the right thing by reporting it to the Penn States Athletic Director. It was his job to call authorities after he got the complaint. Joe should have asked about it once he saw nothing being done but it was up to Penn State to deal with the problem. And where were the parents in this? Why didn't they report it to the police? Unless I missed something, they should have done more themselves.

1026 days ago
39.

StevenTyler324    

Good. There are only four games left in the season. Five if they make the Big10 Championship Game. Mr. Paterno has enough prestige at Penn State that you have to let Paterno make this decision and I'm glad to see he did and not the school.

1026 days ago
40.

anon    

The grad assistant, Mike McQueary, waited until the NEXT DAY to tell Joe Paterno what he saw. Why didn't HE help the child or at the very least call the police himself?

Put the blame where it belongs!

1026 days ago
41.

Nirad    

For those of you with blinders on, this man should be fired asap!!He knew what happened and only told one person, one person. He didn't do his moral duty and notify the police. All for what? a DAMN football program? Wake up people, by not notifying the police, he is just as guilty as the pervert he had on his staff, this man deserves to go down in disgrace!! What in the He** did he think would happen? I have zero sympathy for PaJo. Hopefully he will be fired and not allowed to finish the season. His sympathy for the families is BS. He is no scapegoat, he is ultimately responsible for the conduct of ALL his staff! So he must go NOW!!!

1026 days ago
42.

heh?what?    

As a child molester, Sandusky is a soul murderer. I hope he suffers horribly for the rest of his life and then burns in hell when he dies.

For failing to report him to the police, Paterno et al -- regardless of any other accomplishments -- prove themselves to be PIGS. Assuming the only thing that could motivate all of the powers-that-were to NOT get this man locked away -- knowing he RAPED a CHILD -- was money and power, I hope they all live the rest of their lives broke and shamed.

I have never been molested and don't have kids yet, and I get literally sick to my stomach and pained in my very soul at just the thought of what Sandusky did to these children. How these administrators and such could sleep at night, knowing about it -- despicable CRIMES against a CHILD (which, what, they thought might be just a one-off incident? ...as if the one act isn't bad enough) -- and not reporting it is incomprehensible to me.

How anyone (including the students and others supporting Paterno) can think money and football accomplishments override and compensate for such a colossal moral and ethical failure is also incomprehensible.

Beyond disgusting.

1026 days ago
43.

Jan    

It matters not how beloved this man has been, or what are his athletic accomplishments are. He knew it happened and he did nothing more than what was required to remove the threat of prosecution from himself. This is despicable and the "benefit of hindsight" comment is an insult. Everyone gains hindsight when the indictments start coming down. Too bad his name won't be on one.

1026 days ago
44.

CrisDizzle    

"Devastated'....? Stop playing the victim card JoePa! You allowed a kid toucher into Happy Valley!

1026 days ago
45.

Artist    

For the people defending Joe, maybe you should do a little research first. What the assistant witnessed was Sandusky have ANAL SEX with a 10 yo boy in the shower. I find it difficult to believe that he would be vague about this when reporting it to Joe. Who know's what this guy has done in the last 10 years that it wasn't reported to the police to PROTECT the PENN ST. FOOTBALL PROGRAM!

1026 days ago
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