Penn State's Paterno, President Fired Amid Scandal

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The child sex abuse scandal that has rocked Penn State University has now cost legendary football coach Joe Paterno his job.

Late Wednesday night, the school's board of trustees announced its decision to fire Paterno, the winningest coach in major college football history.

When the news reached him, Paterno, 84 released a statement saying, "I am disappointed with the board of trustees' decision, but I have to accept it."

Paterno had earlier announced his decision to retire at the end of the current season, his 46th.

Thousands of students took to the streets after news of Paterno's firing spread. Shouting "We want Joe back" and "One more game," the angry crowds toppled a light pole and tipped over a television news van.

School's President also Fired

The board also relieved university President Graham Spanier of his duties.

Both Paterno and Spanier were ousted over the child sex-abuse scandal involving Paterno's one-time heir apparent, former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, which has damaged the university's reputation.

Sandusky is accused of molesting eight boys over a period of 15 years.

A graduate assistant told Paterno about one improper act he witnessed between Sandusky and a child. Paterno told the athletic director, Tim Curley, and a vice president, Gary Schultz, who in turn notified Spanier.

Curley and Schultz have been charged with failing to report the incident to authorities.

New Head Coach

Defensive coordinator Tom Bradley will serve as interim head coach. The university scheduled a news conference with him for Thursday morning.

Penn State hosts Nebraska on Saturday in the final home game of the season, a day usually set aside to honor seniors on the team.

Provost Rodney Erickson will step in as the interim school president.

"Right now, I'm not the football coach. And I've got to get used to that. After 61 years, I've got to get used to it," Paterno said, speaking outside his house. "Let me think it through."

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