STATE COLLEGE, Pa.— Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno said on Wednesday he will retire at the end of the 2011 season amid a scandal over allegations a former assistant coach sexually abused boys and school officials covered it up.
In a statement, Paterno, one of the biggest names in American sports, termed the situation a tragedy and "one of the great sorrows of my life."
"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," he said.
Paterno, 84, has been criticized for not doing more to intervene in the case of Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant coach, when incidents of abuse came to light.
"With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more," said Paterno.
Two former university officials -- athletic director Tim Curley and finance official Gary Schultz -- were charged on Monday with failing to alert police after they were told that Sandusky had been seen sodomizing a young boy in the football locker room shower in 2002.
Penn State's board of trustees voted late Tuesday to appoint a special committee to determine what failures occurred related to Sandusky's alleged crimes and officials' response.
"At this moment the board of trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address," Paterno said.
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