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Penn State Fires Paterno, Spanier

The announcement was posted on the website of the Pennsylvania State University Wednesday night.

Editor's Note: The following statement was issued this evening on Pennsylvania University's website.

"The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees and Graham Spanier have decided that, effective immediately, Dr. Spanier is no longer president of the university. Additionally, the board determined that it is in the best interest of the university for Joe Paterno to no longer serve as head football coach, effective immediately.  

"The board has named Dr. Rodney A. Erickson, executive vice president and provost, as the interim president of the university. Tom Bradley, assistant coach, has been named interim head football coach."

Also released was a statement from Spanier:

It has been my great privilege and honor to serve Penn State for more than 25 years, including the past 16 as president. I have said before that the position I occupy is the dream job in American higher education, and I am proud of what we have all done together to advance our programs, support our students, and enhance pride in our institution. 

"Our great university has been rocked by serious charges against a former coach. The presentment by the Attorney General describes acts that should never be tolerated or ignored. I was stunned and outraged to learn that any predatory act might have occurred in a University facility or by someone associated with the University.   

"I am heartbroken to think that any child may have been hurt and have deep convictions about the need to protect children and youth. My heartfelt sympathies go out to all those who may have been victimized. I would never hesitate to report a crime if I had any suspicion that one had been committed.   The acts of no one person should define this university. Penn State is defined by the traditions, loyalty and integrity of hundreds of thousands of students, alumni and employees.   

"Penn State and its Board of Trustees are in the throes of dealing with and recovering from this crisis, and there is wisdom in a transition in leadership so that there are no distractions in allowing the University to move forward.   This University is a large and complex institution, and although I have always acted honorably and in the best interests of the University, the buck stops here. In this situation, I believe it is in the best interests of the University to give my successor a clear path for resolving the issues before us.  

"I will always value the wonderful relationships that I have developed with the many thousands of Penn Staters, community leaders and members of the higher education community throughout the country. I will continue to serve the University in every way possible and celebrate the greatness of Penn State.  

Earlier this week, Attorney General Linda Kelly and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan issued the following statements concerning the ongoing Jerry Sandusky sex crimes investigation at the university. Sandusky is a former defensive coordinator at PSU charged with sexually assaulting several young boys.

"This is an ongoing investigation and this is also a grand jury investigation, which means there are some details we cannot discuss at this time.

"As we noted earlier, this is a case about a serial sexual predator accused of using his position within community to prey on numerous young boys for more than a decade.

"A large part of this case revolves around the actions of Jerry Sandusky and the criminal charges that have been filed against him for the alleged sexual assaults he committed on eight young boys who were victimized over a period stretching from 1994 to 2009.

neva November 10, 2011 at 12:38 PM
If I was a foot player on this teem I would walk off and out of the collage as well. JOE done his job told who he should have, if he had of gone to the cops over there heads he would have been fired at once catch 21. if the truth be know the trustees knew about this
ZuZu November 10, 2011 at 04:18 PM
As the head football coach (or anyone for that matter) it was his responsibility to make sure that appropriate actions were taken when he was first notified of the abuse. To go on as if nothing were happening AFTER becoming aware and allowing this monster to continue with full access to the youth is disgusting. It is sad that Joe Paterno's legacy will be that he did nothing to stop child molestation at Penn State. I feel no pity for those who allow child abuse to continue for any reason. What is more important, the safety of our youth or a football coach keeping his job!
Jamie Jones November 10, 2011 at 05:31 PM
Amen ZuZu. Obviously Paterno made his choice......keeping his job. His first and foremost concern should have been the safety and well being to these young men. We all know that you don't play football at this level, you live football. Shame on Paterno.....that's what his legacy will be. He made the choice...now he's gotta deal with it.

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