Joe Paterno announced the end of his tenure as head coach of Penn State football in a statement released Wednesday. Paterno's plans for retirement were first reported by the Associated Press and then confirmed by his son, Scott Paterno.
Of course, until Paterno meets with the Board of Trustees, this plan to coach the rest of the 2011 season is just, as The New York Times' Pete Thamel put it, "wishful thinking for now."
Here's Paterno's statement:
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.
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.
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.
NOTE: According to SB Nation's Ben Jones, "Penn State players have been called to a mandatory squad meeting at 11 a.m."