Penn State Trustees Fire Joe Paterno

Legendary football coach Joe Paterno is out.

Paterno had announced on Wednesday that he would retire at season's end following the arrest of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on charges of child molestation, but the school's board of trustees took the additional step of firing Paterno and university President Graham Spanier on Wednesday night. The Associated Press reports:

... the outcry following the arrest of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on molestation charges proved too much for the board to ignore.

One key question has been why Paterno and other top school officials didn't go to police in 2002 after being told a graduate assistant saw Sandusky assaulting a boy in a school shower.

Paterno says he should have done more. Spanier has said he was not told the details of the attack.

Sandusky has denied the charges.

Read the full story from The Associated Press.

Here at The Atlantic on Wednesday, Allen Barra made the case for firing Paterno immediately:

By letting Paterno take the field Saturday, Penn State president Graham Spanier and his board of trustees will be causing massive and possibly irreparable damage to the reputation of their university. Spanier has already taken steps in that direction by stating, shortly after the grand jury indictments were announced, his public support for former athletic director Tim Curley and former senior vice president for finance and business (and head of campus police) Gary Schultz, a sure sign that Penn State officials are circling the wagons. Someone needs to tell them that it's far too late for that: The wagons are on fire.

Read Barra's full piece here.

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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