Joe Paterno fired as head coach from Penn State

Joe Paterno fired as head coach from Penn State
November 10, 2011, 6:00 am
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The Joe Paterno era is officially and forever over at Penn State University.

Penn State University Board of Trustees met with the media Thursday night to announce the ousting of PSU head coach, Joe Paterno, and PSU President, Graham Spanier.

"The past several days have been absolutely terrible for the Penn State community," board vice chair John Surma said at a packed press conference filled with media and angered fans. "But the outrage that we feel is nothing compared to the physical and psychological suffering that allegedly took place. The Penn State Board of Trustees tonight decided that it is in the best interest of the university to have a change in leadership to deal with the difficult issues that we are facing. The Board of Trustees and (PSU President) Graham Spanier have decided that effective immediately that Dr. Spanier is no longer President of the university. In addition, Joe Paterno is no longer the head football coach, effective immediately."

Paterno has been in hot water over the last week after reports that he turned a blind eye to alleged child sexual abuse by then assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, back in 2002, when it was told to Paterno by then grad assistant, Mike McQueary, now receivers coach at PSU.

On Nov. 5, 2011, Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing eight boys from 1994 to 2009. He was reportedly seen at the PSU gym as recently as two weeks ago.

Paterno was told of the news of his firing by phone prior to the press conference. Shortly after, hoards of student supporters began to form outside his home, prompting him to go outside and acknowledge the supporters.

Paterno also released a statement on the Board of Trustees' decision to fire him from his position:

"I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees' decision, but I have to accept it.

A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value.

I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be forever in your debt."

In the aftermath of the announcement, PSU students filled campus streets, rioting and chanting "One more game!" in hopes that Paterno would coach Saturday's game against Nebraska. Windows were smashed, rocks and objects were being thrown at police offers and media, and a news truck was flipped.

Earlier Wednesday, Paterno released a statement saying that he would retire from his head coaching position at the end of the year, a statement that was met with much criticism outside the PSU community.

"This is a tragedy," Paterno said then. "It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more."

Spainer also released a statement in wake of his ousting as President.