The New York Times is reporting that Joe Paterno is on his way out at Penn State.
While the exact timing has not been decided—or at least not announced—"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."
Some preliminary reports have Paterno remaining in Happy Valley to finish the remainder of the season, while others claim he may no longer be the head coach by this coming Saturday. The NYT has the move expected from anywhere within "days to weeks."
The report comes less than a half hour after the cancellation of his previously scheduled 12:20 p.m. press conference. Just as we thought that news may have represented a breaking of the ranks at Penn State, we now know that was exactly the case. [Reactions below]
Regardless of whether you're a fan or not, a supporter or a detractor, this news is difficult to process. While it seemed to many to be "the natural and necessary" course of events, actually hearing the news is a surreal experience generating very real emotion.
Former Penn State linebacker and current ESPN analyst and Second Mile board member Matt Millen broke down on television—running the full gamete of human emotions in discussing only the cancellation of the press conference—perhaps knowing this news wasn't far behind.
The reactions of the students and residents in Happy Valley have been somewhat predictably split over the past few days. But now they—and we—all share something in common.
We're all upset—for one reason or another. And we're all watching.
Penn State students gather to watch the news on TV at the HUB in Happy Valley. Photo courtesy "Haleyblum" on yfrog.