Tampa - There was no pomp and circumstance. No odes to Joe. Just a statement from the man who coached 61 years at Penn State.
"I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees' decision, but I have to accept it (being fired).
A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value.
I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be forever in your debt."
It pains me to see someone who has spent most of his life doing good for many kicked to the curb like Joe Paterno was Wednesday night by the board of trustees.
However, it was inevitable.
I sensed this decision coming after hearing earlier in the day that Paterno, in a written statement, urged the board "not to spend a single minute discussing his status. He was going to retire at the end of the season."
Seemingly a direct order, or was it a strong stance fronting a sense of desperation his tenure was coming to an end, not on his terms.
There was another comment that Joe made time and time again in the last couple of years when speculation would pop up of his retirement that I could never forget.
He said,"This (coaching) is all I know how to do."
That concerned me to a point because I've heard that line before from athletes faced with retirement.
Some carry on. Some can't cope.
I do hope that Joe finds these times ahead as an opening to enjoy life.
I do hope that his relationship at Penn State isn't severed because of what transpired tonight.
I do hope that his legacy doesn't carry with it an unwarranted asterisk because of this Jerry Sandusky scandal.
We all must remember, Joe did nothing illegal.
He trial was held in a morals court, not a court of law.
Sandusky's acts came under his watch, he was aware of it (to whatever point), and didn't personally stop it.
Neither did several others above him who have since been fired or resigned.
An emotional ending to an emotional day in State College.
I am sure Paterno will address the Sandusky scandal very soon.
I am very anxious to hear his version.
As I stated in an earlier blog, I want answers.