Paterno issues statement on firing

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno released the following

statement Wednesday:

”I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees’ decision, but I

have to accept it.

A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the

legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but

want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please

respect the university, its property and all that we value.

I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working

with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the

coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program.

And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be

forever in your debt.”

Earlier Wednesday, Paterno released a statement saying he

planned to retire at the end of the season:

”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.”