With his role in the revolting sexual abuse scandal at Penn State already forcing a reexamination of his legacy, football coach Joe Paterno announced on Wednesday that he intends to retire at the end of the season.
Although Penn State's board of trustees still has say in the matter (and could show him the door as early as today), Paterno informed the team of his plans shortly after he issued a statement.
Senior safety Drew Astorino later discussed Paterno's emotional speech during a conference call with reporters.
"He just told us he put in a letter of resignation. He thinks that would be best for Penn Sate, best for his family and best for everybody else. He doesn't want to put Penn State through a war or a fight or a media war against anybody," Astorino said, via ESPN's Adam Rittenberg. "He just always wants us to remember that this team will always be a team and always be together, not just for the next so many games and next year but we'll be a team for the rest of our lives."
Junior quarterback Stephon Morris said that some of the players were moved to tears as well and that Paterno's main message was, "Beat Nebraska."
"I still can't believe it," Morris told the Associated Press. "I've never seen Coach Paterno like that in my life."
According to several reports, Paterno was broke down in tears and the players gave him a standing ovation as he walked out of the room.