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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Joe Paterno, the Penn State football coach who preached success with honor for half a century but whose legend was shattered by a child sex abuse scandal, said Wednesday he will retire at the end of this season.
Paterno said he was “absolutely devastated” by the case, in which his one-time heir apparent, Jerry Sandusky, has been charged with molesting eight boys over 15 years, including at the Penn State football complex.
He said he hoped the team could finish its season with “dignity and determination.”
The trustees could still force him to leave immediately and could take action against university president, Graham Spanier.
Paterno said the school’s Board of Trustees, which had been considering his fate, should “not spend a single minute discussing my status” and has more important matters to address.
The beloved 84-year-old Paterno has been engulfed by outrage that he did not do more to stop Sandusky after a graduate assistant came to Paterno in 2002 after allegedly having seen the former assistant coach molesting a 10-year-old boy in the Penn State showers.
“This is a tragedy,” Paterno said in a statement. “It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”
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