Penn State Football Coach Joe Paterno has decided to leave the program amidst the turmoil surrounding former Assistant Coach Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky was arrested on Saturday on charges of sexually abusing eight boys over 15 years. A ninth alleged victim came forward on Tuesday.
In a written statement 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 message went on to say, "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."
Paterno has not been charged in the investigation, but did give testimony to a grand jury. Two top Penn State officials have been charged with perjury on allegations that they failed to alert police about claims of sexual abuse by Sandusky. Such reporting is required by law. Tim Curley and Gary Schultz surrendered to authorities this week and were freed on bail. Their departures from the university were announced on Sunday night after an emergency meeting of the Board of Trustees.
"At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status," said Paterno in his statement. "They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can."
The statement concluded with, "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."