Joe Paterno exit likely at Penn State in wake of Sandusky sex abuse scandal

November 8, 2011

Online Staff Report

Joe Paterno’s days as head football coach at Penn State may be numbered, according to various reports that indicate a sex abuse scandal involving Penn State officials could bring an end to the legendary coach’s career.

According to a New York Times report, Penn State’s Board of Trustees has not yet determined when Paterno will be removed as head football coach, but he will likely not return for another season.

Paterno, 84, nicknamed “JoePa,” has more career victories than any other coach at college football’s top level. He has amassed a 409-136-3 record in 46 seasons, including a 24-12-1 record in bowl games. Penn State has won two national titles — in 1982 and 1986 — and three Big Ten titles — in 1994, 2005 and 2008 — during his tenure. Penn State (8-1, 5-0 in Big Ten) currently has the Big Ten’s best record this season.

Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator under Paterno, was arrested Nov. 5 and charged with sexually abusing eight boys across a 15-year period.

Paterno has been criticized for not involving the police when he learned in 2002 of an allegation of the assault of a young boy. Gary Schultz, senior vice president for finance and business at Penn State, and Tim Curley, Penn State athletic director, were both charged with perjury and failure to report to authorities what they knew of the allegations.

Paterno’s status at Penn State could be determined by the state attorney general’s investigation into the sex abuse allegations.

Paterno has said he was not made aware of the graphic nature of the alleged 2002 assault of a young boy in the football facility’s showers. However, Mike McQueary, who was a graduate student at the time and who alerted Paterno to the alleged abuse, has reportedly said he told Paterno the details of the alleged abuse.

Paterno has not been charged in the case. Law enforcement officials have said Paterno met his legal obligation by alerting his superiors of the allegations.

According to a Nov. 8 report by Mike Still in The Daily Collegian — Penn State’s student newspaper — nearly 300 students gathered at Paterno’s home Nov. 8 and swarmed the coach as he returned home from a team practice. Click here to read The Daily Collegian‘s article.

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