Philadelphia’s Penn State devotees joined fans across the country in mourning the loss of former football coach Joe Paterno, known affectionately as “JoePa,” who died yesterday morning of lung cancer at the age of 85.
“I was taken aback. JoePa is such an iconic figure in college sports,” said Scott Salayda, of Kensington, who graduated from Penn State in 2009, while watching football at Fox and Hound bar.
Emotions ran high at bars across the city where Nittany Lions fans gather regularly to watch games.
“Life’s not going to be the same here ... because Joe Paterno is not part of the equation. This is the place where Penn State lives,” said Jonathan Muzio, Penn State ’03 alum at The Fieldhouse bar. “One guy was crying earlier when he found out.”
Not everyone was as pessimistic about the team’s future.
“I think they will eventually bounce back,” fellow patron Derrick Weaver said.
The unofficial mayor of Happy Valley recently drew controversy for what some say was a lack of action against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who allegedly sexually assaulted young boys for at least 15 years, at times in the school’s locker room, according to a grand jury report.
Paterno’s local supporters had mixed thoughts on how he would be remembered.
“He was the greatest football coach that ever lived,” Weaver said. “It’s a shame his legacy had to end the way it did because of a child sex addict.”
Student editor resigns over false death report
CBS Sports apologized for reporting Saturday that former Penn State coach Joe Paterno had died, saying it had fallen “well short” of its own journalistic standards.
CBS replaced its initial post with one saying it had based its report on a Penn State student website, Onward State. The managing editor of the student site resigned, saying he never expected its reporting to be picked up. Reuters