Although Joe Paterno released a statement earlier on Wednesday saying that he would retire from his position as head coach of the Penn State football team, the university's Board of Trustees has decided the time for his era to end must come sooner. It must come right now.
Joe Paterno has coached his last game at Penn State. After more than four decades as head coach, Paterno has been fired amidst the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal that continues to devastate the university.
The Board of Trustees met Wednesday night and came to the decision that it was in the university's best interest for Paterno and Penn State President Graham Spanier to immediately leave their respective positions. ABC's Jim Gardner broke the news on twitter tonight that Paterno would not coach another game, and that Spanier had resigned. Gardner reports that assistant coach Tom Bradley will be interim coach.
From the sounds of things, State College could be in for a very long night. Students are arriving in droves to gather outside of Old Main in support of Paterno. We can only hope it remains a peaceful protest, but there is speculation that it could turn ugly.
Update: Various reports state that some rioting has begun, with riot gear-clad police responding using mace to attempt to stop the worst actors in the crowds. A news van has been overturned—picture below—and light poles have been pulled down.
Picture via The Daily Collegian twitter feed, which is a must-follow tonight.
At 1 AM, Police are said to have things under control, although many students remain outside.