AP, Paterno Family: JoePa to Retire
Even before this sordid affair began, we had our doubts. Could the 84-year old, who’s spent more time up in the press box than down on the field, really demand a contract extension? Deep down, we’d all been wondering whether this would be Joe Paterno’s last year.
But now, I think it’s safe to say, we know it will be.
The Associated Press is reporting, and members of the Paterno family are confirming that Joe Paterno will retire at the end of the season, and given the circumstances, I think that’s the best possible endgame he could have hoped for. No firing, no forced resignment. He will get to coach, at least one more time, before his adoring fans, and I can’t even begin to imagine the range of emotions we’ll all have Saturday.
It’s a more dignified exit than many of us thought he’d get yesterday, when the New York Times first broke news of Paterno’s imminent departure from Penn State. But perhaps the voices of the masses were made, and if Joe didn’t get to say a final goodbye, the students would have probably have shown State College what a real riot is.
But perhaps this will be something of a compromise–for those who demanded his immediate firing and for those who gave him the benefit of the doubt. And for those who can carefully balance “409 wins and a lifetime of honor” with “might have participated in an alleged child rape cover-up,” this seems like the only logical choice.
UPDATE: 10:27 a.m.
Joe Paterno has confirmed the reports, and has issued a statement.
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.