Penn State President Graham Spanier was also ousted.
Paterno, the winningest coach in major college football history, learned of the board’s decision at the end of a day that began with his decision to finish out his 46th season and leave. It was not to be.
The dismissal prompted thousands of students to gather about two blocks from the campus, many chanting, “We want Joe! We want Joe!” Witnesses said some rocks and bottles were thrown, a lamppost was toppled and a news van was knocked over, its windows kicked out. About 100 police wearing helmets and carrying batons were on hand. There were no reports of arrests.