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Penn State football coach Joe Paterno is out of a job effective immediately after the board of trustees fired him and school president Graham Spanier.

The axe fell not long after the winningest coach in college football announced that he would retire at the end of the season, hanging up his 45 year career.

Penn State Scandal Timeline: Paterno’s defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was indicted by a grand jury on November 4 on dozens of counts of child sexual abuse and turned himself over to authorities the next day.

Paterno, 84, was also named in the grand jury statement as being informed by a graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, of the abuse. He claims he reported the assault to Tim Curley, the athletic director, and Gary Schultz, the school’s vice president of finance and business. Both have been charged with perjury and failure to report a sexual assault and have stepped down from their positions. They were arraigned on Monday.

The head football coach wanted to address the scandal during his weekly press conference on Tuesday but Penn State canceled the media event. Later that night he did address a crowd gathered at his home.

Wednesday morning Paterno, finally realizing that he was in a no-win situation, announced his retirement at the end of the 2011 season. By the end of the day he was fired.

He released this statement: “I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees’ decision, but I have to accept it. A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. 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. This is one of the great sorrows of my life. I wish I had done more.”

There is speculation that Paterno could be charged with perjury if it turns out that he lied to a grand jury.

Check out the Board of Trustees announcement below:


Photo: Video Screen Grab