Joe Paterno and school president Graham Spanier were fired Wednesday night by the board of trustees amid the growing scandal over how the school handled child-sex abuse allegations against assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
The veteran coach was ousted at the end of day that began with his announcement to retire at end of the season, his 46th.
After hearing news of the firing, Paterno released a statement, saying: “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.”
According to CBS News a source close to former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno said that the Paterno family is shocked and outraged over the university’s handling of the firing. The source claims Surma lied at the press conference announcing Paterno’s firing when he said the board had informed Paterno by phone about its decision to terminate the head coach after 46 seasons. Instead, the source claims a university employee hand-delivered a letter about the firing to the family home a mere 15 minutes prior to the press conference. According to the source, the reason for the letter was that the university employee said the board was unable to locate Paterno during the day.
The legendary football coach allegedly said upon hearing the news: “You give your life to this place and that’s how you’re treated.”