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Thousands Gather In State College To Celebrate Joe Paterno’s Life At His Memorial

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A final goodbye to Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. He was forced out of his job just two months before his death amid a sex scandal on his coaching staff.

But Thursday night, a memorial in State College drew thousands of loyal supporters.

Kai Jackson has more on the tribute.

Joe Paterno’s widow, Sue Paterno, received a warm welcome as she arrived at the memorial for her late husband.

Students, alumni and fans packed the arena to celebrate Joe Paterno’s life.

His son, Jay Paterno, addressed the crowd of more than 12,000.

“He lived his life nobly, never blindly chasing success as defined by the world’s ever-changing values,” he said.

Paterno’s death at 85 came less than three months after his stunning dismissal as head coach. The child sex abuse charges against his retired assistant have tarnished his legacy.

But Nike chairman Phil Knight called Joe Paterno his hero and says the coach was treated unfairly.

“If there is a villain in this tragedy, it lies in that investigation, and not in Joe Paterno’s response,” he said.

But this week is not about scandal as Joe Paterno was remembered for his generosity and commitment to education and to family.

Wednesday, thousands lined the streets to look as his funeral procession passed.

Joe Paterno coached the Nittany Lions from 1966 through 2011.

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