STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - (AP) - Penn State football coach and Brooklyn native Joe Paternowill retire at the end of the season, his long and illustriouscareer brought down because he failed to do all he could about anallegation of child sex abuse against a former assistant.
"This is a tragedy," Paterno said in a statement Wednesday."It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit ofhindsight, I wish I had done more."
Paterno has been besieged by criticism since former defensivecoordinator and one-time heir apparent Jerry Sandusky was chargedover the weekend with molesting eight young boys between 1994 and2009. Athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultzhave been charged with failing to notify authorities after aneyewitness reported a 2002 assault.
Paterno decided to retire at age 84, in his 46th season with theNittany Lions. He won 409 games, a record for major collegefootball, but now, the grandfatherly coach known as "Joe Pa," whohad painstakingly burnished a reputation for winning "the rightway," leaves the only school he's ever coached in disgrace.
"I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case,"he said. "I grieve for the children and their families, and I prayfor their comfort and relief."
But Paterno might not be able to fully control his exitstrategy; the school's board of trustees is still considering itsoptions and could force Paterno to leave immediately.