STATE COLLEGE (KDKA) – With internal support apparently fading for Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, it appears that his tenure will be coming to an end very soon.
Paterno issued a statement through PR NewsWire on Tuesday, which announced that he will retire at the end of the season.
In the statement, Paterno said he wishes he would have done more regarding the alleged child sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the university.
“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,” the statement said.
Paterno said that this will be his final season as the head coach at Penn State and that he is praying for the victims and their families.
“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 statement said.
Players said Paterno was emotional when he announced his decision. Many said it was the first time they have seen him cry.
This was probably the first time I’ve ever seen him cry and I actually almost got teary-eyed myself. My dad played for him, my uncles played for him, my mom came here. Penn State is in my blood and it’s just hard to see a huge key person of Penn State to go like this,” linebacker Nate Stupar said.
“The whole time he was talking, you could tell he was really emotional about it. It’s kind of hard to say. I never saw him breakdown. No matter how many media clips you can look up, I never saw him breakdown and cry. He was crying the whole time he was talking. Obviously, he felt a certain way,” quarterback Paul Jones said.
Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky is accused of sexually assaulting several children while on Penn State’s campus.
Sandusky allegedly met the boys through his charity, The Second Mile. He faces 40 counts ranging from inappropriate touching to statutory rape.
The Board of Trustees met Tuesday night. They decided to establish a special committee to examine the circumstances which led to this scandal and a possible cover-up.
The board will meet again on Friday and Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to be in attendance. He will be examining what failures occurred, who is responsible and what measures need to be taken in order to prevent this from happening again.
According to an ESPN report, the board’s support of Paterno appears to have been fading.
At least 1,500 students rallied outside of Paterno’s home Tuesday night. Paterno eventually came out of his house, spoke to his supporters and asked them to pray for the victims in this scandal.
“I think we ought to say a prayer for them because you know … tough life when people do certain things to you,” Paterno said.
There have been many calls for Penn State President Graham Spanier to step down as well.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Tom Ridge, former governor and director of Homeland Security, was reportedly mentioned as a possible replacement for Spanier.
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