The Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees has fired football coach Joe Paterno and University President Graham Spanier following a scandal involving former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, who is charged with sexually abusing eight boys over a span of 15 years. According to a grand jury report, Paterno learned of Sandusky’s alleged assault in 2002 from a graduate student but failed to report the incident to the police.
Initially Paterno announced that he would finish out the season has head coach. John Surma Jr., Chairman of the Board, stated, “We thought that because of the difficulties that engulfed our university, and they are great, that it is necessary to make a change in the leadership to set a course for a new direction.”
Sandusky is accused of making sexual advances and having oral and anal sex with the victims, who were in their early teens when the alleged abuse occurred. In addition, two officials from Penn State, Senior Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley, have been charged with failing to report the suspected child abuse to law enforcement officials and committing perjury in their grand jury testimony.
Paterno served 46 seasons as head coach and has had more victories than any other college football coach in history. Rodney Erickson, currently the executive vice president and provost at Penn State, will take over as acting president.