Both President Graham Spanier and head football coach Joe Paterno were ousted tonight by the Penn State Board of Trustees, effective immediately.
Provost Rod Ericson has been appointed as acting president.
Paterno was notified by telephone earlier. Assistant football coach Tom Bradley has been appointed as interim head football coach and the football season will not be cancelled.
“The situation we’re in today is not in the University’s best interest,” stated John P. Surma, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees who is CEO of U.S. Steel in real life, at the post-meeting press conference. “In our view, we thought a change now was necessary. To allow this process to continue we thought would be damaging to the university and that’s why we took the action we did.”
“We don’t know all the facts,” he said.
That’s a great basis on which to make such a weighty decision.
Paterno had issued a statement this morning announcing his retirement at the end of this football season. However, it is now certain that he has coached his final game at Penn State.
His statement this evening was terse: “I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees’ decision, but I have to accept it.”
Spanier’s statement is here.
Further information about the findings of the special investigation committee of the BOT will come later.