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Joe Paterno Fired in Midst of Child Sex Abuse Scandal

Paterno has been the head football coach at Penn State for 46 years and has been with the team for more than 60 years.

Joe Paterno is out, effective immediately, at Penn State. The school’s Board of Trustees made the announcement during a press conference Wednesday night shortly after 7 p.m. PST. President Graham Spanier is also out and will be temporarily replaced by provost Rodney Erikson.

The decision comes just hours after Paterno announced he would retire at the end of the season amidst a child sex abuse scandal that has rocked the school over the past several days.

After the announcement, 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."

Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator under Paterno, was charged this past weekend with 40 counts of child molestation. He allegedly sexually assaulted at least eight boys between 1994 and 2009. The boys were a part of Sandusky’s charity for at-risk youths, The Second Mile.

Earlier today, Paterno released the following statement:

“I absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief…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 received heavy criticism this week because he was informed by a graduate student of an incident between Sandusky and a 10-year old boy. Paterno reported it to his superiors, but many thought he should have done more.

Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz were both charged with failing to notify authorities after they were informed of a 2002 assault.

Paterno won his 409th win against Illinois less than two weeks ago, making him the winningest coach in Division I football history.


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