The Penn State board of trustees fired football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier at a press conference just after 10 p.m. Though The New York Times reported days ago that Paterno's dismissal was imminent, the fact the board didn't take him up on his offer to step down after finishing the season seemed to stun some reporters in the room. Questions from local reporters quickly became combative; one member of the media clearly expressed his disgust with the board for not meeting face-to-face with Paterno to give him the news. This would turn out to be the least combative large gathering in central Pennsylvania last night. [PSUComRadio]
When students assembled at Paterno's house after hearing of his ouster, he advised them all to go home and get a good night's rest. Not everyone took him up on that offer which explains why... [ABC6]
There were Nittany Lions leading their peers in chants "Fuck the trustees! Fuck the trustees!" outside Old Main, which houses the school's administrative buildings. At a certain point, the genuine Paterno backers become indistinguishable from the gawkers and college who just like to be outside chanting stuff. [Binc186]
Sports Illustrated's Jon Wertheim snapped a photo showing that Paterno was on campus in spirit and in life-size cardboard cut out, if not in body [Jon Wertheim]
Wertheim also captured the scariest shot of the evening, as students crowded their way on to tiny main drag Beaver Avenue. In the process, they made a regular cop car look like a toy and things seemed primed to explode. [Jon Wertheim]
That sense is even more palpable in the street-level footage from Beaver Avenue. Something's going happen, but you weren't entirely sure what. [I3bball]
The first piece of public property to go down was a lamp post. Replaceable and not nearly as regrettable as what happened next. [mgoblue741]
When students beat the hell out of -- then flipped -- a local news truck. Around this point, the student protests stopped being about Joe Paterno and turned into an excuse for Penn Staters to let out their inner English soccer hooligan. [AP and MRob18]
This would not go unpunished. Twitter user OnwardState snagged a picture of the local cops moving ominously up Beaver Avenue to the site of the disruption [OnwardState]
Inevitably, some students were led away in handcuffs. [AP]
It wasn't all rioting and newstruck flipping. Artist Michael Pilato also took the time to paint over the image of Jerry Sandusky on his half-block mural outside Penn State's student bookstore. The rest of Hqppy Valley's most esteemed citizens remain were untouched, but Pilato turned the former Nittany Lions defensive coordinator into an empty chair with a blue ribbon commemorating the alleged victim. The change to the mural came yeterday afternoon, so it doesn't technically belong among acts of post-Paterno protest. But if Pilato didn't self-censor his work in the afternoon, you can bet someone would have done it for him later in the night. [AP]
A sad goodbye. [Jon Wertheim]
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