Penn St. Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno announced the end of his 61-year career in Happy Valley in a statement released Wednesday. After the news was reported by the Associated Press and confirmed by son Scott Paterno, the coach himself said a few words.
Defenders will note the portion about hindsight, while critics will parse Paterno's call for the Penn State Board of Trustees to devote their energies to more pressing matters. It's important to note Paterno hasn't met with the Board yet, and there's no guarantee he'll be allowed to finish out the season once they decide on a course of action.
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.