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As the events of this week swallowed him up, and many of his most loyal followers were forced to rethink the icon’s legacy, the coach himself tried as hard as possible to keep the focus on the reason he got into the business.

“My goals now,” Paterno said in the statement announcing his retirement, “are to keep my commitments to my players and staff and finish the season with dignity and determination. And then I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to help this University.”

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Associated Press Writer Genaro C. Armas in State College, Pa., contributed to this report.