Joe Paterno Set to Leave the Penn State Sidelines Come Season's End

Dave WalkerCorrespondent INovember 9, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 08:  Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno (C) is greeted by a large group of students after arriving at his home, November 8, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Behind Paterno is his son Scott Paterno  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

It has become perhaps the biggest scandal in college sports, and in the middle of it was college footall's winning-est coaches, Joe Paterno. Paterno, who says he doesn't tweet, facebook, or anything else, can now add coaching at Penn State to the list.

Reports surfaced Wednesday morning that Paterno will in fact retire at the end of the season.

Paterno has been at Penn State since 1950, serving as a assistant for 15 years, and taking over as head coach in 1966. He became the all time winning-est coach in major college football with the victory over Northwestern last month.

Many question still remain about Paterno, the sex scandal, and what it all means to the Penn State athletic program.

Was Paterno forced out?

What will this do to the future for recruiting, fund raising, and the overall perception that is Penn State University?

This will ultimately be a black eye in what has been an amazing career for Joe Paterno. Whether or not he was aware of what was going on is irrelevant at this time as he has been labeled "guilty" by association by the media.

He released this statement just before 11 am on the East Coast:


 "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."

As for the University, boosters have already pledged to not give the University any more money.

As for the team, it is unclear what damages it has done for recruiting and what effects it will have during the final 3 games vs Nebraska, Ohio State, and Wisconsin.

Did anyone see this being the way a legends career ends? Probably not.

The final home game is this Saturday. It should be interesting to see what type of reaction Paterno receives. It will also be interesting to see what happens leading up to the Nittany Lions bowl game...