EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSJOE PATERNO DEAD
from Eyewitness News Online
Former Penn State Football Coach Joe Paterno Dead At 85
Reported by: Dave Benton
Web Producer: Mamie Buoy
Reported: Jan. 22, 2012 11:16 AM EST
Updated: Jan. 22, 2012 10:55 PM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Penn State President Rodney Erickson says the university is grieving the death of legendary former football coach Joe Paterno and plans to honor him for his contributions to the school.
In a statement released Sunday, Erickson called Paterno "a great man who made us a greater university."
Paterno died early Sunday at age 85.
Erickson says Paterno's "dedication to ensuring his players were successful both on the field and in life is legendary." He says PSU will remember his "remarkable life and legacy" and plans to honor him.
The winningest coach in major college football was fired from Penn State on November 9th amid a child sex abuse scandal involving a former assistant. Critics say Paterno should have done more to stop it.
Eyewitness News caught up with sports fan in Charleston after Paterno's death. Tracy Abdalla says, "The man dedicated 60 plus years to the University. If the scandal overshadows that when he didn't even do it himself, that's just wrong."
Katie Staso knows people who attend Penn State and says, "People who who went to school there are still behind him. They'll remember him for the positive influences."
Not everyone agrees, Karen Dickenson Blaine wrote on the Eyewitness News Facebook page, "He didn't just fail to report, he shared a field and allowed a rapist to continue working for him. He was just as guilty of abuse, because he allowed it to continue."
Laurie Townsend posted, "To me he is still the man who did not report abuse, his job was a coach of a football team, he had cancer and how he died. People get worked up defending a person they didn't know personally."
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