After 61 years of ruling over Happy Valley, Joe Paterno‘s time as the Nittany Lions’ head coach is reportedly coming to a bitter and disgraced end.
According to the New York Times, and citing two people briefed on conversations among the university’s top officials, Paterno’s decades-long run as Penn State’s coach will soon be over in the wake of the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant Jerry Sandusky. There is no timeline as of yet for Paterno to step down, although the Times writes that it could be “within days or weeks” as the wheels have been set into motion for determining precisely how Paterno’s exit will be handled.
The Times punctuates its report by writing that “it is clear that the man who has more victories than any other coach at college football’s top level and who made Penn State a prestigious brand will not survive to coach another season.”
This latest development comes on the heels of Penn State, which has bungled and mismanaged the Sandusky situation for more than a decade, canceling Coach Paterno’s teleconference at the last minute Tuesday.
“Due to the ongoing legal circumstances centered around the recent allegations and charges, we have determined that today’s press conference cannot be held and will not be re-scheduled,” the school wrote in a press release.
The school’s Board of Trustees will be meeting Friday, with Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett in attendance. It remains unclear whether a final decision on Paterno’s exit, if that is indeed the direction the school or the coach decides to take, will come out of that meeting.
Also to be determined is the future of president Graham Spanier. With the school’s athletic director and one of its vice president already indicted on charges related to the Sandusky case, and with the school reportedly looking to push Coach Paterno into retirement, there’s simply no realistic way for Spanier to come out of this unscathed. Or with his job.