The career of the all-time winningest coach in major college football history came to a stunning end. In November, Penn State University fired Paterno, known for his "success with honor" mantra that produced two national championships and high gradutation rates in his 45-plus years as Nittany Lions head coach, for not aggressively responding to the child sex abuse claims against Jerry Sandusky, his former long-time defensive coordinator. In 2002, Paterno had reported an abuse allegation against Sandusky to Penn State's athletic director, his immediate superior, but did not go to the police. "I wish I had done more," Paterno said in a statement after the scandal unfolded. Paterno and his family have given over $4 million to Penn State; a library on campus is named after him. But his legacy now seems irredeemably tarnished. The Big Ten Conference scrubbed his name off its championship trophy, and Paterno was removed from consideration for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Paterno, 84, also has a treatable form a lung cancer, and reportedly broke his pelvis during a fall in his home on Dec. 10. The physical fall will not require surgery, but the long-term damage is already done; never has a more revered sports figure fallen so quickly.
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