Coach Paterno Plans to Retire at End of Season

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Penn State's Joe Paterno announced Wednesday that he'll retire at the end of this football season, after nearly half a century of coaching.

Pressure was mounting for the 84-year-old coaching legend to step down after his former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was accused of sexually abusing young boys for more than 15 years.

Over the weekend, officials charged Sandusky with molesting eight young boys between 1994 and 2009, with at least one encounter allegedly on the Penn State campus.

The allegations have already forced the resignation of two top officials at the school.

Paterno has not been charged with a crime and isn't a target of the investigation.

But officials said a gradate assistant told Paterno about an improper act witnessed between Sandusky and a child -- and it wasn't reported to the police.

Paterno said the focus shouldn't be on the collapse of his dynasty, but on the kids affected -- some of whom are now adults.

"There's been some criticism of the way we've handled some of the poor victims," Paterno said. "We're going to start praying for the kids who got involved with some of the problems we've been talking about."

The scandal has created shock and sadness in the sports community.

Emotions got the better of ESPN analyst Matt Millen, who is a Penn State graduate.

"This is disturbing," he said, holding back tears.

Millen also sits on the board of Second Mile, a charity founded by Sandusky to help at-risk children.

"This is more than a football legacy. This is about people," Millen added. "And if we can't protect our kids, we as a society are pathetic."

Many Penn State students have rallied around Coach Paterno, cheering him on at his home.

He'll be on the sidelines for his last home game Nov. 12 against Nebraska, while Sandusky prepares for his day in court.

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John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Senior Editor

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