Posted by Jerry Hinnen and Adam Jacobi
UPDATE - Nov. 9: The Associated Press is reporting that Joe Paterno has decided to retire at the end of the season.
As the amount of alleged victims in the Jerry Sandusky case climbs rapidly, reports are emerging that Penn State head coach Joe Paterno's coaching career will soon come to an end. Official support for Paterno is reportedly "eroding," even as Nittany Lion fans rally in support of the longtime coach.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Paterno's 46 years as Nittany Lion head coach "will soon be over, perhaps within days or weeks." According to two sources familiar with top administrative discussions who spoke to the Times, talks to determine "how to manage his departure have begun."
"The board of trustees has yet to determine the precise timing of Paterno’s exit," the Times writes, "but it is clear that the man who has more victories than any other coach at college football’s top level and who made Penn State a prestigious brand will not survive to coach another season."
At least one person has come forward to dispute the Times report. Joe's son Scott Paterno said at a gathering of reporters at the Paterno household on Tuesday afternoon that "nobody has asked Joe [Paterno] to step down" and that Paterno would be coaching at Nebraska this weekend.
"There has been no contact about anything to do with anybody stepping down," said Scott. "The status quo holds. It's the same as it's always been. He's the coach at Penn State. When there's more to add I will."
Later, at Paterno's home, a crowd of hundreds gathered in an impromptu rally for the embattled head coach. Cries of "we love you, Joe" and chants of "Let Joe stay" peppered the air. Paterno emerged from his house to give a brief statement, but did not answer questions.
|More on Sandusky investigation|
| Gregg Doyel
Not letting Paterno speak demonstrates Penn State's cowardice. Read More >>
What is known, however, is that the Penn State board of trustees held an emergency meeting Tuesday night. Chairman Steve Garban acknowledged to the Associated Press that the board was "in session" when asked. A person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the schedule was not made public said the trustees were having a teleconference Tuesday evening.
The Board of Trustees released a statement Tuesday expressing outrage over the “horrifying details” of the Sandusky case. The board announced it would form a committee to investigate the “circumstances that gave rise” to the case. The statement did not mention the job status of Paterno or Spanier.
Meanwhile, reports have emerged that the number of alleged victims in the Sandusky case is growing after the state attorney general and police commissioner publicized two phone numbers to help potential victims contact investigators. According to Fox 29 in Philadelphia, the number of alleged victims has more than doubled in just one day and as of Tuesday evening, approaches 20. Sandusky has yet to be charged in any of the new allegations that are coming in.
Paterno was scheduled to speak at a press conference Tuesday morning, but the conference was canceled, reportedly by Spanier. The Times later reported that Paterno will not hold an off campus press conference as was rumored. Paterno did coach Tuesday's practice.
According to the grand jury report that charges Sandusky with 40 counts of sex crimes against minors, Paterno was told of an incident involving Sandusky in a Penn State locker room in 2002 and reported that incident to his superiors But the head coach allegedly made no further effort to follow up on the incident as Sandusky enjoyed continued access to PSU facilities.
In a statement, NCAA president Mark Emmert said that the Sandusky scandal "is a criminal matter under investigation by law enforcement authorities and I will not comment on details."
"However, I have read the grand jury report and find the alleged assaults appalling," said Emmert. "As a parent and an educator, the notion that anyone would use a position of trust to prey on children is despicable. My thoughts and concern goes out to the alleged victims and their families."
State police commissioner Frank Noonan said Monday that Paterno fulfilled his legal obligations and was in no danger of being charged with any criminal wrongdoing, but that he felt the 84-year-old coach had not lived up to his moral obligations.
"Somebody has to question about what I would consider the moral requirements for a human being that knows of sexual things that are taking place with a child," Noonan said. "I think you have the moral responsibility, anyone. Not whether you're a football coach or a university president or the guy sweeping the building. I think you have a moral responsibility to call us."
For more on the story, here's this week's edition of the Doddcast. CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd talks about the Penn State situation, Joe Paterno's legacy and potential replacements for Paterno, among other college football topics. You can subscribe to this podcast in the iTunes store.