Joe Paterno's storied career as head football coach at Penn State could be over "within days or weeks" according to a published report on Tuesday -- the latest fallout in a sexual abuse scandal involving one of his former assistant coaches.
The New York Times reports that "two people briefed on conversations among the university’s top officials" said the board of trustees is working on how best to handle Paterno's departure. Perhaps that process has already begun -- Paterno was set to hold a news conference on Tuesday, but the university canceled it less than an hour before it was scheduled to start.
Paterno's former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested over the weekend and accused of abusing eight boys over a 15-year period. Paterno has come under the fire after learning of one incident in 2002. Instead of going to police, he only reported it to university officials. They in turn are accused of burying the story. Two officials are charged with perjury and failing to report the incident to police.
Paterno said in a statement on Sunday that he did the right thing by reporting it to the university. Indeed on Monday prosecutors said Paterno did meet his legal obligations with the report to his superiors.
But Paterno is being criticized for failing a moral obligation. Why didn't he pursue the matter when it was clear the university was not going to? This is the problem even his most ardent supporters are having right now.
Paterno is 84 years old and has been the Nittany Lions head coach for 46 years. But all of that may soon be over, as The Times wrtes, "...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 national brand will not survive to coach another season."