Shortly after the Penn State Board of Trustees announced that Joe Paterno would be relieved of his duties as head football coach, a small group of students gathered outside of his home. According to Daily Collegian columnist Emily Kaplan, the 84-year-old emerged from his home and addressed the impromptu gathering.
"Right now I'm not the coach," said a visibly upset Paterno. "And I've got to get used to that. After 61 years, I've got to get used to it. I appreciate it. Let me think it through."
The Associated Press reported that Paterno shook hands with several students, some of whom were in tears.
A short time later, Paterno again emerged from his home, accompanied by his wife. Before a much larger crowd and several cameras and microphones, Paterno again spoke.
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Asked why he came out, Paterno said:
"I want to say hello to all these great students who I love. Hey, you guys are great. All of ya. When I say guys, you know what I mean: You know I mean girls, too. Hey look, get a good night's sleep, study. Alright? We still got things to do. Alright. I'm out of it, maybe, now. That phone call that put me out of it, but we'll go from there. OK? Good luck everybody. Hey, thanks for coming."
The students cheered for Paterno as he turned to head into his home, yelling out "I love you, Joe" and thanking him.
Paterno turned back and offered an emphatic "thank you."
Before he made it to the door, he turned back to the crowd again.
"Hey, and one thing: Thanks and pray a little bit for those victims."
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