STATE COLLEGE (KDKA) — After a week of unprecedented scandal and unrest, the Penn State community joined together Saturday afternoon to cheer on the Nittany Lions against Nebraska.
It was Penn State’s final home game of the season.
As always, pre-game festivities were as lively as ever outside Beaver Stadium on Saturday morning. Still, some fans had heavy hearts knowing that Joe Paterno is no longer a part of Penn State football.
“It’s just a different feel here today,” said Ben Fantaske, a Penn State fan. “It’s solemn; it’s like you’ve lost a friend.”
“It’s very sad that things were not done properly,” added Marie King, another Nittany Lions fan.
Many fans spent extra time near the Paterno statue. And even though there was an outburst of cheers when the team bus pulled up, fans knew it just wasn’t the same.
“To know that he’s not the first person to get off those buses in 46 years, it broke my heart a little bit more,” said Penn State fan Brad Zabish.
Former PSU quarterback Darryl Clark also felt the pain of Paterno’s absence.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Clark said. “It’s unfortunately that everything has happened the way it’s happened and all we can do it pray about the entire situation.”
- Photo Gallery: PSU Community Cheers On Nittany Lions Against Nebraska
- Game Recap: No. 12 Penn St falls to No. 19 Nebraska 17-14
- Game Recap & Stats
Fans wore blue in recognition of sexually abused children and in a rare move before kick off, both teams prayed at mid-field for the healing to begin.
The Nittany Lions came out on the losing end, but it was not because of a lack of effort for their former coach.
“I’m kind of sad that we didn’t get the win but we know that Joe still has our backs, the fans still have our backs obviously,” said Khairi Fortt, a Nittany Lions linebacker.
Acting President of Penn State Rodney Erickson commended players and students for showing great character in the way they handled a very difficult situation. He’s also calling for continued unity and healing in the community.
PHOTO GALLERY: Chaos On Campus After PSU Fires JoePa
VIDEO: Interim Coach Tom Bradley (11/10)
VIDEO: Joe Paterno Speaks After Firing (11/9)
VIDEO: Board of Trustees News Conference (11/9)
VIDEO: Watch The Attorney General’s News Conference (11/7)
STORY: PSU’s Tom Bradley: “It’s An Unprecedented Situation That We Find Ourselves In”
WARNING Contains Graphic Material: Read The Entire Grand Jury Presentment
AG, PSP Commissioner Statements: Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
LINK: Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office
LINK: Penn State Nittany Lions