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Joe Paterno Retires From Penn State University Following Jerry Sandusky Child Sex Scandal

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Penn State coach and Pennsylvania legend Joe Paterno has announced his retirement at the end of the season following the eruption of an ugly scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

The announcement comes as little surprise. After all, this child sex scandal could become the worst scandal in the history of college sports. In just five days following the arrest of Jerry Sandusky - the scandal has erupted into an inferno. It has resulted in the arrests of former Athletic Director Tim Curley, Senior Vice President of Finance Gary Schultz, and now the annouced retirement of legend Paterno.

Yesterday, Paterno's weekly press conference was canceled by Penn State President Graham Spanier. Then rumors surfaced that the Board of Trustees were outraged over the incident and would force Paterno to retire. Last night, a large number of Penn State students held a rally in support of Paterno outside of his home. Paterno came outside to thank them, but it was clear however, that the end was near for Penn State's legendary coach.

This morning, Paterno issued the following statement:

"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."

You can't help but wonder how much Paterno knew. While he did notify Curley about an incident in 2002, nothing was done. And why wouldn't Paterno alert authorities if Sandusky continued to be around children when nothing was done? ESPN reported that Jerry Sandusky had Joe Paterno and Jerry Sanduskyaccess to the Penn State lockeroom up until last week!

Let's break it down like this: Let's say I'm a step below the CEO of my company on the totem pole, and a buddy of mine who has worked close with me for two decades was caught having sex with an underage girl at work.

I go to my boss and inform him, and if I don't see him carried away in handcuffs within minutes, a red flag immediately goes up. Also, Sandusky remained a part of the Penn State family for years after this alleged shower incident.

And even though Sandusky was "banned" from bringing children onto the campus, he still operated his summer camp for six years!

The bottom line is that a grad student (current assisant Mike McQueary) witnessed the rape of a child on campus property. This isn't an infraction akin to fixing grades, betting on a game, or receiving money. Next to murder, child rape is the most serious crime a human can commit against another human being.

The fact that Jerry Sandusky used his child summer camps as a lure for victims and the Penn State campus as a haven for committing those crimes implicates all of the top people at the school. There is simply no way Paterno or any of the officials were so stupid or naive that they were oblivious to these crimes.

As far back as 1998, Sandusky first admitted to another person that he commited child sexual abuse when he informed a mother he had showered with her son and two other boys.

Unfortunately, it has ended Paterno's legendary career and cast a dark shadow over Paterno and the entire university. It is clear they had a monster working there, and he continued to commit these crimes well after he retired in 1999. Penn State's image will be forever tarnished by Jerry Sandusky's House of Horrrors.

Photo of Paterno and Sandusky from latimes.com

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com

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