Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno has made it official he plans to retire at the end of the season. Reports of his exit earlier in the week were denied by Paterno's son Scott, follwed by a stern statement from the school's Board of Trustees, and now Paterno's reported exit has been confirmed by the longtime head coach himself.
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Paterno's fate is not quite as severe as that of Penn State president Graham Spanier, who is expected to announce his resignation as early as today. Multiple reports indicated that Spanier had lost the support of the Penn State board of trustees and that they had required him to keep silent in the previous few days.
Paterno had not been accused of any wrongdoing legally, but details from the investigation have brought criticism on the game's winningest coach for not doing more to stop Sandusky. The state police commissioner called Paterno's actions a "lapse of moral responsibility."
Official statement from Penn State head coach Joe Paterno:
STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Nov. 9, 2011 -- "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."
Paterno recently recorded his 409th career victory against Illinois on Oct. 29, making him the winningest coach in college football. He won national championships in 1982 and 1986, and has won three Big Ten Conference Championships (1994, 2005, 2008) in his 44 years as head coach.
For more on this story as it develops, follow the Joe Paterno coverage here on CBSSports.com's Eye On College Football Blog
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