Joe Paterno: I Will Retire After Season

'I've lived for this place,' disgraced coach tells fans
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 9, 2011 9:28 AM CST
Updated Nov 9, 2011 9:56 AM CST
"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," Paterno said in a statement.   (Matt Rourke)
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(Newser) – Joe Paterno will end his storied career as Penn State's football coach, reports Fox 29 News, stepping down in disgrace at age 84 amid the sexual abuse scandal that tarnished his decades of squeaky-clean success. "I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season," the winningest coach in college football history said today in a statement that called this "tragedy ... one of the great sorrows of my life."

"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." Paterno has also retained the services of a PR expert who specializes in "reputation challenges." Paterno last night appeared outside his home, reports ABC News, telling hundreds of cheering fans, "I've lived for this place. I've lived for people like you guys and girls." He then asked the crowd to "say a prayer" for "the kids who were victims," but didn't answer when asked about his future as coach. The number of victims allegedly molested by Paterno's longtime defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky has doubled, reports Fox 29 News, with as many as 17 accusers having come forward. Officials have set up two phone numbers for victims to call, and the hotline appears to have yielded new leads in less than a day.

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