STATE COLLEGE,None - Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has decided to retire at the end of the season, his long career brought down by his failure to do more about an allegation of child sex abuse against a former assistant.
Paterno said in a statement Wednesday he is "absolutely devastated" by the developments in the case of Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator accused of molesting eight boys.
Paterno said the board of trustees should "not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address."
"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 been besieged by criticism since former defensive coordinator and one-time heir apparent Sandusky was charged over the weekend with molesting the boys between 1994 and 2009.
Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz have been charged with failing to notify authorities after an eyewitness reported a 2002 assault.
Paterno might not be able to execute his exit strategy as the school's board of trustees is still considering its options, which could include forcing Paterno to leave immediately.
Paterno has not been accused of legal wrongdoing. But he has been assailed, in what the state police commissioner called a lapse of "moral responsibility," for not doing more to stop Sandusky, whose attorney maintains his client's innocence.
Paterno has been questioned over his apparent failure to follow up on a report of the 2002 incident, in which Sandusky is accused of sodomizing a 10-year-old boy in the showers at the team's football complex.
Paterno's Retirement 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."