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Joe Paterno fired over Penn State Jerry Sandusky child-sex abuse scandal

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno arrives home Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, in State College, Pa. Paterno said he was "absolutely devastated" by the developments in the case of Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator accused of molesting eight boys over 15 years. Ex-Penn State coach Joe Paterno dead at 85 AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Joe Paterno fired over Penn State Jerry Sandusky child-sex abuse scandal
Joe Paterno
CBS/AP

(CBS/AP) STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and school president Graham Spanier were fired Wednesday night by the board of trustees amid the growing furor over how the school handled child-sex abuse allegations against assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Pictures: Who's who in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal
Pictures: Joe Paterno
Pictures: Child-sex scandal rocks Penn State

The longtime 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."

Standing outside of his home late Thursday with his wife, Paterno responded to crowds of students chanting "please don't go" by saying: "You guys are great, all of you. Hey look, get a good night's sleep, study. You still have things to do."

A source close to Paterno tells CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian that the Paterno family is shocked and outraged over the university's handling of the firing.

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.

"You give your life to this place and that's how you're treated," the source said.

Complete coverage of the Penn State child sex abuse case on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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