Joe Paterno”s 46-year-run as head coach of the Penn State football team could soon come to an end because of the sex-abuse scandal that has engulfed a former Paterno assistant.
The university”s board of trustees is discussing when, not if, the legendary 84-year-old coach should exit, sources tell The New York Times.
Part of the issue is how much Paterno really knew about the nature of sexual abuse allegedly perpetrated by Jerry Sandusky against eight boys before and after the assistant”s retirement in 1999.
In particular, Paterno has said he was not told in detail the graphic nature of an alleged 2002 assault by Sandusky, but sources familiar with that victim”s story have questioned that assertion.
The board has yet to determine whether Paterno should step down right away, but the trustees are reportedly resolved that he will not coach another season.
Support for Paterno among Penn State students appears to remain high, however. A throng of students crowded onto the front lawn of his house of Tuesday night to pledge their support for the coach, whose Nittany Lions have won two national championships during his tenure.
“I can”t tell you how much this means to me,” Parerno told the students, reports ESPN. “I”ve lived for this place. I”ve lived for people like you guys and girls.”
He also asked the students to say a prayer for the alleged victims, and added that “it”s a tough life when people do certain things to you.”