In Statement, Paterno Says, "I Wish I Had Done More" (and update)

Penn State's Board of Trustees took decisive action Wednesday night and fired both Coach Paterno and president Spanier in response to the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the university. Paterno had submitted his resignation, but the Trustees decided that he would not coach another game.

Before the Trustee's decision, the legendary football coach gave an emotional farewell talk to his team and coaches and issued a statement, read here on the Tim Brando show (text below):

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.

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.

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.

Spanier issued his own statement following the news of his termination.

Discussion Starters:

  • Is Paterno's statement appropriate, given the situation? Would you expect to see something different?
  • Why do you think Paterno decided to resign? Was this the right decision at the right time?
  • How do you assess the Trustees' decision to fire Paterno and Spanier? Do you side with the Trustees or the protesting students?
  • How do you assess Spanier's statement? In what ways is his statement appropriate or inappropriate in this situation?