Joe Paterno has been fired as Penn State's head football coach Wednesday by the university's board of trustees.
Right now, I'm not the football coach, and that's something I have to get used to, Paterno told his students, speaking at his house, The Associated Press reported.
While Paterno had hoped to finish the season with his team, the board of trustees made it clear Wednesday that they want the 84-year-old football coach out now. Paterno will be relieved of his coaching duties effective immediately, reported CNN.
Penn State's President, Graham Spanier, has also been removed due to the child sex abuse scandal, according to John P. Surma, vice chairman of the board of trustees. Spanier was one of the longest-serving college presidents in the U.S. and one of the highest-paid.
Authorities claim Spanier and Paterno failed to do all they could after former Penn State defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, was accused of molesting a 10-year-old boy in an on-campus shower.
It is in the best interests of the university that a change in leadership (must be made) to deal with the difficult issues that we are facing, Surma said at a press conference.
The decision comes in light of allegations against former Penn State defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky was recently charged with 40 counts of child sex abuse and allegedly sexually molested eight young boys.
Although Sandusky continues to deny the charges, Paterno admitted to a Grand Jury that he was aware of an incident in which Sandusky was accused of molesting a young boy. The incident referenced by Paterno occurred in 2002 when a young graduate assistant walked in on Sandusky sexually assaulting a 10 year-old boy in a football locker room shower at Penn State.
The graduate assistant, reported to Mike McQueary, told Paterno the next day about what he saw. Paterno then forwarded the information to athletic director Tim Curley, who did not report the information to authorities.
While Paterno legally did nothing wrong according to the state attorney general, many fans and officials feel he committed a moral wrong by not taking a more aggressive approach in pursuing the allegations. Many have called on Paterno to resign as football coach after a legendary career at Penn State, but now it is clear that Penn State has taken the matter into their own hands.
This is a tragedy, Paterno told the AP. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.
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