Mobbed by a flock of devoted followers, head Penn State football coach Joe Paterno spoke briefly to hundreds of students in the wake of the child sex abuse scandal involving one-time heir apparent, Jerry Sandusky.
"You're great and God bless every single one of you," Paterno said to the crowd of supporters who waited outside his home Tuesday night.
A few hours later, Penn State trustees decided to appoint a special committee to investigate the child sex abuse case. Paterno's former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, faces sex assault charges involving boys from his Second Mile Charity Foundation. Some of the alleged crimes took place in the Penn State football locker room according to the grand jury report. And now a ninth alleged victim has come forward.
"...please make sure you keep the victims in your thoughts," Joe's son, Scott Paterno, said.
Scott Paterno also insisted, despite calls for his father to resign, that the beloved JoePa is still Penn State's coach.
"Nothing has changed," Scott said when he was asked if there is an exit strategy.
Despite the criticism that Paterno could have reported the alleged sex assault of his former assistant to police instead of the athletic director, these students do not blame Paterno.
"I think he did his job," one student said.
"The actions of three or four men don't define what this University is," said Penn State junior, Robert Roselli. "This right her, this defines what the University is," Roselli said, referring to all the support.
Students marched from Paterno's house to the Old Main Building on campus, where unconfirmed reports tipped students off to a possible board of trustees meeting. Travis Salters, a Penn State senior from King of Prussia, confronted the crowd:
"Joe Paterno is not completely innocent in this," Salters said.