After the sex abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky came out, Joe Paterno stepped down as head coach of the Penn State Football program. Paterno said he would retire at the conclusion of the football season.
But the same night Paterno announced his retirement, the Penn State Board Of Trustees fired Paterno, effective immediately.
Yesterday, the board released a statement with the reason for its decision to let Paterno go right away.
Here’s the statement (via Yahoo! Sports), emphasis ours:
“Many alumni have asked why the Board decided to remove Coach Paterno from his position as Head Football Coach. On Wednesday, November 9, Coach Paterno announced that he would retire at the conclusion of the 2011 football season. Given the nature of the serious allegations contained in the Grand Jury Report and the extraordinary circumstances then facing the University, the Board’s unanimous judgment was that Coach Paterno could not be expected to continue to effectively perform his duties and that it was in the best interests of the University to make an immediate change in his status. Therefore, the Board acted to remove Coach Paterno from his position as Head Football Coach effective as of that date.
“Coach Paterno remains employed by the University as a tenured faculty member. The details of his retirement are being worked out and will be made public when they are finalised. Generally speaking, the University intends to honour the terms of his employment contract and is treating him financially as if he had retired at the end of the 2011 football season.”
In short, the board is honouring Paterno’s retirement, but felt as though it was in the best interest of the university he did not coach the remainder of the season.