Jerry Sandusky Scandal

Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier out: Penn State football coach, university president removed by trustees

UNIVERSITY PARK — The Penn State board of trustees announced Wednesday night that both head football coach Joe Paterno and President Graham Spanier have been removed from their respective positions.

The announcements came after two nights of meetings surrounding the allegations that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky molested eight boys over a 15-year period.

Paterno said Wednesday morning that he would resign at the end of the season, but the board decided to end Paterno's 46-year head coaching career at Penn State. 

The board of trustees said in a statement that "the Pennsylvania State University board of trustees and Graham Spanier have decided that, effective immediately, Dr. Spanier is no longer the 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 vote was unanimous.

Joe Paterno issued a statement responding to the decision saying, "Right now I'm not the football coach, and that's something I have to get used to."

Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley has been named interim head coach.

"Rod Erickson, our distinguished provost, has agreed to act as interim president, effective immediately," trustee John Surma said during a press conference after an emergency meeting of the board.

Asked if Athletic Director Tim Curley or Gary Schultz, former vice president for finance, would be terminated, Surma said, "There's a number of matters that ... over time will get dealt with."

There's no change at the moment to the statuses of wide receivers coach Mike McQueary or quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno, he said.

"We thought a change now was necessary. To allow this process to continue, we thought, would be damaging to the university," he said.

Spanier released a statement via Penn State Live saying, "It has been my great privilege and honor to serve Penn State for more than 25 years, including the past 16 as president. 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."

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