Penn State's delicate dance remembering Paterno

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Thousands of people - mostly students - held a candlelight vigil outside Penn State's administration building Sunday night to honor legendary head football coach Joe Paterno, who died from lung cancer at the age of 85 on Sunday, just two months after he was fired and his record-setting career came to a sudden and embarrassing end.

The vigil showed the kind of respect that would have made Paterno proud - a procession full of dignity and grace, part of an outpouring of grief expressed in flowers and footballs.

Paterno's death closed one chapter of an iconic life, but certainly not the book.

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"We grieve for the loss of Joe Paterno, a great man who made us a greater university," the board of trustees and university President Rodney Erickson said in a statement. "We are considering appropriate ways to honor the great life and legacy of Joe Paterno."

In fact, Penn State now faces a delicate dance - how to pay tribute to the winningest coach in the history of major college football - the same man it fired in November after 46 seasons, in the wake of a child abuse sex scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

"Joe Paterno made a huge mistake that a lot of people will never, ever forgive him for," observes Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated, "but he did a lot of things that a lot of people will remember him very fondly for, and a lot of people feel they (the school) should honor him for it."

A source close to the family tells CBS News that Paterno did not at all die a bitter man, but rather praised his beloved university right to the end.

  • Armen Keteyian

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