jimmythegreek Posts:10704 Followers:376
On 11/10/2011 09:33 AM in NCAA Football

JOE PATERNO FIRED FROM PENN ST

Paterno fired over Penn St. child abuse scandal

(CBS/AP) STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - In a massive shakeup, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and school president Graham Spanier were fired Wednesday night by the board of trustees amid the growing furor over how the school handled child sex abuse allegations against an assistant coach.

The longtime coach, the winningest in major college football, was ousted at the end of day that began with his announcement to retire at end of the season, his 46th. It was not to be.
"The university is much larger than its athletic teams," board vice chair John Surma said during a packed press conference.

After hearing news of the firing, Paterno released a statement, saying: "I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees' decision, but I have to accept it. A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value."

Standing outside of his home late Thursday with his wife, Paterno responded to crowds of students chanting "please don't go" by saying: "You guys are great, all of you. Hey look, get a good night's sleep, study. You still have things to do."

A source close to former Penn State Football Coach Joe Paterno tells CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian that the Paterno family is shocked and outraged over the university's handling of the firing.


The source claims a university employee hand-delivered a letter about the firing to the family home a mere 15 minutes prior to the press conference. According to the source, the reason for the letter was that the university employee said the board was unable to locate Paterno during the day.


"You give your life to this place and that's how you're treated," the source said.


But according to Surma, Paterno and Spanier were informed by telephone of the unanimous decisions to remove them because "we were unable to find a way to do that in person without causing further distraction."


Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley will serve as interim coach while Rodney Erickson will be the interim school president.


"The Penn State board of trustees tonight decided it is in the best interest of the university to have a change in leadership to deal with the difficult issues that we are facing," Surma said.


"The past several days have been absolutely terrible for the entire Penn State community. But the outrage that we feel is nothing compared to the physical and psychological suffering that allegedly took place."


Speaking outside his home after the press conference, Paterno said: "Right now, I'm not the football coach. And I've got to get used to that. After 61 years, I've got to get used to it. I appreciate it. Let me think it through."



Complete coverage: The Penn State Scandal
Cops: Sandusky admitted to '98 shower with boy
Paterno's record-setting career by the numbers
Penn St. scandal dwarfs others in college sports


Paterno said in a statement earlier Wednesday that he was "absolutely devastated" by the abuse case, in which his former assistant and onetime heir apparent, Jerry Sandusky, has been charged with molesting eight boys over 15 years, with some of the alleged assaults taking place at the Penn State football complex.


"This is a tragedy," Paterno said. "It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."


Paterno has come under harsh criticism — including from within the community known as Happy Valley — for not taking more action in 2002 after then-graduate assistant and current assistant coach Mike McQueary came to him and reported seeing Sandusky in the Penn State showers with a young boy. Paterno notified the athletic director, Tim Curley, and a vice president, Gary Schultz.


Paterno is not a target of the criminal investigation, although Curley and Schultz have been charged with failing to report the incident to the authorities.


After the firings, thousands of students descended on the administration building, shouting, "We want Joe back!" then headed to downtown to Beaver Avenue. The mood there was boisterous but not angry — almost all the students were decked out in Penn State gear.


The firings came three days before Penn State hosts Nebraska in its final home game of the season, a day usually set aside to honor seniors on the team.


The ouster of the man affectionately known as "JoePa" brings to an end one of the most storied coaching careers — not just in college football but in all of sports. Paterno has 409 victories — a record for major college football — won two national titles and guided five teams to unbeaten, untied seasons. He reached 300 wins faster than any other coach.


Penn State is 8-1 this year, with its only loss to powerhouse Alabama. The Nittany Lions are No. 12 in The Associated Press poll.


After 19th-ranked Nebraska, Penn State plays at Ohio State and at No. 16 Wisconsin, both Big Ten rivals. It has a chance to play in the Big Ten championship game Dec. 3 in Indianapolis, with a Rose Bowl bid on the line.


After meeting Tuesday, the board said it would appoint a committee to investigate the "circumstances" that resulted in the indictment of Sandusky, and of Curley and Schultz.


Sandusky, who retired from Penn State in June 1999, maintained his innocence through his lawyer. Curley has taken a leave of absence and Schultz has decided to step down. They also say they are innocent.


The committee will be appointed Friday at the board's regular meeting, which Gov. Tom Corbett said he plans to attend, and will examine "what failures occurred and who is responsible and what measures are necessary to ensure" similar mistakes aren't made in the future.


Sandusky founded The Second Mile charity in 1977, working with at-risk youths. It now raises and spends several million dollars each year for its programs. Paterno is listed on The Second Mile's website as a member of its honorary board of directors, a group that includes business executives, golfing great Arnold Palmer and several NFL Hall of Famers and coaches, including retired Pittsburgh Steelers stars Jack Ham and Franco Harris.




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bobalou Posts:4957 Followers:143
11/10/2011 10:05 AM

Well It's a sad and tragic ending of a great "Football" career. BUT that being said.... I think it was the right thing to do - all things considered. Maybe just Maybe now those young men, the university and Joe himself can begin to heal. I'd like to think he's regretted his not doing more and not just because of scandal has finally leaked to the world... (But that's probably just wishful thinking on my part - considering the time that has gone by)



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aakj Posts:2585 Followers:15
11/10/2011 10:18 AM

right thing to due
penn st need to start the search for a new coach, probably will be named during the bowl season

jimmythegreek Posts:10704 Followers:376
11/10/2011 11:18 AM

This isn't over by a longshot. It will get worse before it gets better. Paterno and other related members in this case could face a numerous amount of charges. I wouldn't be surprised if and when sanctions against the university will be issued, meaning a long road ahead for Penn St athletics.

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marksmoneymakers Posts:12406 Followers:137
11/10/2011 12:09 PM

I think it was the right thing to do as well. I never thought in a million years I would hear the words fired and Paterno in the same sentence. It is so wrong what happened to those kids. My gut tells me Joe knew more than everybody thinks. I hope I am wrong about that though. Time will tell and I do think this is going to get very ugly and there is much more still to come.

bobalou Posts:4957 Followers:143
11/10/2011 12:52 PM

I agree JTG... I think this is the tip of the ice-berg and things are going to get a lot worse as things come out!



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ryanchacha Posts:261 Followers:4
11/10/2011 01:01 PM

i can't believe students are supporting him already.. i mean, even a hint of a hint of a hint of involvement in sexually abusing children tops all other crimes in my book.