Penn State coach Joe Paterno retires amid child sex-abuse scandal


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Penn State football coach Joe Paterno has just announced his retirement at the end of the season, an abrupt departure that follows an unfolding child sex-abuse scandal engulfing the school.

In a statement, Paterno said the sex-abuse case is a tragedy and that he wishes he had done more to intervene. His departure caps a legendary career that boasts more wins than any other NCAA Division I football coach. But that stellar record is now tarnished by criticism that Paterno remained silent as sexual-abuse allegations swirled around his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky.


Sandusky has been charged with molesting eight young boys between 1994 and 2009; he maintains his innocence. Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, the university’s vice president for finance and business, have been charged with failing to notify authorities after an eyewitness reported a 2002 assault; they’ve since resigned.

Paterno reportedly learned of the 2002 assault, passed word along to Curley -- and then dropped it.

Photos: Penn State sex-abuse scandal

Sandusky continued to be a familiar figure in and around campus; authorities reportedly said he used that relationship to lure in his young victims.

The reaction in the online world to Paterno’s retirement was immediate -- and largely critical of the coach: Said one tweet: ‘Sad that #joepaterno is going out as a moral looser. He could have been a hero and a winner. Stand up for what is right.’

To keep up with this fast-breaking story, the L.A. Times has created a page dedicated to full coverage throughout the day and beyond.



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