Penn State University’s governing body ousted legendary coach Joe Paterno last night along with university President Graham Spanier, ending Paterno’s 46 year reign in Happy Valley.
“It was not an easy decision,” Board of Trustees President Vice Chairman John Surma said last night shortly after 10 p.m. “In our view, things had reached a point that a change was necessary in the long interest of the university.”
Riot police were dispatched to the university’s main campus in State College in anticipation of students’ reaction to Paterno ouster. For the last couple days, students publicly supported Paterno on and nearby the campus. Hundreds spent hours outside Paterno’s home off campus Monday and Tuesday.
JoePa’s firing comes after a day of growing criticism about the university’s silence on the coach’s future. Paterno said in a statement earlier in the day that he would stay on for the rest of the season, then retire.
While ESPM's Jay Bilas said earlier yesterday on the sports network, "It's inconceivable to me that they could continue in their current position," fellow college sports analysts like Kirk Herbstreit said that kicking out Paterno and his staff before the end of the season would be unfair to the young athletes on the team.
Assistant coach Tom Bradley will take over for the rest of the year, the trustees said.
Feds look into whether PSU follow crime rules
The U.S. Department of Education announced last night that it will investigate whether Penn State University failed to comply with federal crime reporting laws.
“If it turns out that some people at the school knew of the abuse and did nothing or covered it up, that makes it even worse,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said of the sex abuse scandal. “Schools and school officials have a legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from violence and abuse.”