PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – To say Joe Paterno was a legend to Penn State fans is an understatement.
Even with the end of his career embroiled in such controversy, Paterno will always hold a special place in the hearts of many Penn State alumni.
The alumni KDKA-TV’s John Shumway spoke to on camera, on the radio and on the phone have had a mixture of reactions.
Some expressed sadness over the loss, but were also heartbroken there was no chance to say goodbye and thanks.
“It’s more than the victories. He was the embodiment of an ideal and the students looked at him as a grandfather,” Greg Scott of the Penn State Alumni Association said.
“I have wonderful memories of Joe Paterno and I started at Penn State in  when he was just starting to build the football program,” Bob Zulik said.
Far from a recluse Paterno was a common fixture walking across campus. As one student found out, sometimes even on the mountain bike trails in the nearby woods
“She came up over a rise and there was Coach Paterno picking flowers for his wife. She almost ran him over and she swerved and crashed and he came over and said, ‘Are you alright?’”
Scott said Paterno’s death certainly was not unexpected, but nonetheless it’s sad because it robs him of a chance to enjoy retirement or to get past the Jerry Sandusky mess.
“Joe Paterno I believe would have been able to weather that storm when people would have the opportunity to reflect back on all that he did,” Scott said.
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