Outside of State College, Pa., there seems to be overwhelming public sentiment calling for Penn State head coach Joe Paterno to be removed from his position in light of the developing sexual abuse scandal surrounding his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky. But in and around the university, students are turning out to show their support for the legendary head coach.
After earlier reports of Paterno tearfully addressing media members from within his home, he eventually emerged and addressed the throng of students (reportedly over a thousand of them) thronging his front lawn to show their support. The address is captured in a video uploaded by the staff of independent Penn State newspaper The Daily Collegian:
"We want Joe," the crowd cheers as Paterno emerges.
"And I want you," Paterno says. "It's hard for me to tell you how much this means for me. I've lived for this place, I've lived for people like you guys."
While the crowd was focused largely on Paterno's football heroics, the coach did not completely shy away from the scandal. "The kids who were victims," he says, "I think we ought to say a prayer for them. Because ... tough life, when people do certain things to you." The crowd begins to chant "Let Joe stay," and Paterno responds by leading them in a "We are ... Penn State" chant.