Ben Simmoneau reports
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (CBS) – Penn State football coach Joe Paterno will retire at the end of the season, days after the school was rocked by allegations of sexual abuse against a former assistant.
Paterno’s decision comes only days after former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was accused in a grand jury report of molesting eight young boys over a 15-year span (see related story).
Paterno released the following statement this morning:
“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.”
Sandusky, 67, was arrested Saturday and released on $100,000 bail after being arraigned on 40 criminal counts including involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of a child, indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor, as well as single counts of aggravated indecent assault and attempted indecent assault, the state attorney general’s office said.
In addition, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz have been charged with failing to notify authorities after an eyewitness reported a 2002 alleged assault involving Sandusky.
Authorities say Paterno is not accused of any wrongdoing and followed protocol reporting the 2002 incident to his superiors; however, criticism has fallen upon the legendary coach for not doing more.
The grand jury report states that graduate student Mike McQueary, a one-time Penn State quarterback and current assistant coach, witnessed Sandusky in the shower at the team’s football complex with a young boy in 2002. The report states that McQueary initially told his father of the incident and then later reported the incident to Paterno.
The report states Paterno then told Curley of the alleged incident.
Paterno defended his decision to take the news to Curley. Paterno said it was obvious that McQueary was “distraught,” but said McQueary did not tell him about the “very specific actions” in the grand jury report.