10 Nov 2011

Legendary US football coach sacked

6:27 pm on 10 November 2011

Pennsylvania State trustees have sacked American football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier amid criticism of the way university officials handled allegations of child sex abuse against a longtime assistant coach.

The sackings came hours after Paterno, an icon in US sports, had announced he planned to retire at the end of the college football season.

The 84-year-old coach is in his 46th season at the helm of the Nittany Lions, a team he has guided to two national titles while amassing the most wins of any major-college coach.

However, the board of trustees decided Paterno and Spanier would have to go immediately as the outcry exploded in the wake of the arrest of a former assistant coach.

Jerry Sandusky, who is charged with sexually assaulting eight boys over a span of 15 years - some of them at Penn State facilities - has said through his lawyer he is innocent.