STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WJZ)– The sex abuse scandal rocking one of the nation’s premier universities. Legendary football coach Joe Paterno will retire at the end of the season.
Jessica Kartalija has the latest fallout and reaction.
A very quiet and a very sad day on campus at Penn State University. Now, football coach Joe Paterno said the entire incident is a tragedy and wishes he had done more. Outside Beaver Stadium in what has become known as Paternoville, arm-in-arm students sing the university’s alma mater.
This, as beloved head football coach Joe Paterno announces he’ll retire at the end of the season, his 46th with the university.
“Actually, this is probably the first time since I’ve ever seen him cry,” Penn State football player Nate Supar said. “And I got teary-eyed myself.”
“How many media clips you can look at, I’ve never seen him break down and cry. He was crying the whole time he was talking,” said Paul Jones, Penn State football player.
In a statement, Paterno said: “It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.”
This, after allegations of sexual abuse involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. When made aware of the allegations, Paterno did report them to his superior. Two school officials are now charged with perjury and failure to report the incident to police.
Paterno has not been accused of any legal wrongdoing. However, critics argue that he should have done more to stop Sandusky.
“It’s really sad he had to retire this way. I don’t think anyone wanted to see it,” one Penn State student said.
“The whole atmosphere of the whole university is just hurt by this. It’s really an emotional time,” said another.
“People are not seeing all of the good stuff he’s done for the community and the campus,” a student said.
Rallying on campus and outside the Paternos’ State College home, students pledged their support for the iconic coach.
“It’s just a shame that’s it’s got to end this way. He’s like a legacy. He’s been here so long as a living legend and now it’s got to end in a bad way,” a student said.
Many are calling this the most tragic incident in the history of college sports. Students, faculty and alumni are sickened over the allegations and the end of Paterno’s coaching career. A legacy, students hope, will live on.
Around campus and downtown, many students are wearing t-shirts in support of Joe Paterno. Additionally, Penn State plays Nebraska this weekend– a very big game. Penn State students and fans typically wear white during what they call a “Whiteout.” This weekend, they say they’ll be wearing blue for a “Blueout” in support of fighting child abuse.
Wednesday, a ninth alleged victim has come forward and there are reports there could be as many as 20.