How many coaches get forced out of their careers by a sex scandal in which they were not involved? Let alone college football's all time winningest coach? Only in America I guess. Penn State's Joe Paterno may have retired anyway after this season but will we ever know for sure? He told his team with tears streaming down he's done after this season-- three more games plus a bowl appearance. And that's assuming the Penn State board of trustees goes along with it all, no done deal to be sure.
Paterno's legacy will be tarnished no doubt about it. It will vary from person to person who follows the game, but it's not what Joe Pa wanted. His statement Wednesday seemed sincere enough and I'm sure he'd have done things over differently if he could-- as he said hindsight he did not have as a benefit at the time, all the way back to 2002.
Like many coaches, Paterno probably stayed on too long. You stay on past your prime and the chance of problems rises and Bobby Knight, Woody Hayes and the like all know what it is to stay on too long-- something can come up to tarnish all the good and the winning you did and this is a classic case unlike any other.