Football Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno has announced his decision to retire following a swirl of criticism concerning what he and other Penn State officials knew about former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's improper sexual conduct.
Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator at Penn State University, was arrested on Nov. 5 on charges that he sexually abused eight boys over a period of 15 years.
The fallout from Sandusky’s arrest has been centered on whether the university covered up allegations of Sandusky abusing young boys, including in 2002 when an eyewitness reported an assault.
Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz have since been charged due to their failure to report the incident to the authorities.
The 67-year-old Sandusky is speculated to have started a charitable organization for young boys, The Second Mile, in order to gain access to possible victims.
In a statement issued to the press, Paterno said, "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.”
The head coach of the Nittany Lions continued, “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,” Paterno added.