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If it all ends now for Paterno: Lasting images

If the career of this legendary coach is coming to a crashing end this week or in coming days, the images of Tuesday in Happy Valley will remain forever.

There was the canceled press conference, amid a media storm, stopping the only weekly availability reporters have with Joe Paterno. Tuesday is when his program opens to the world for a few questions. It's closed otherwise.

That press conference was never started, thanks to the university president who prefers silence right now.

Graham Spanier didn't want Paterno to be on the hot seat. Despite what Penn State athletics asked, all of the questions would have been about this horrific scandal that is one of the worst, if not the worst, in college sports.

There are victims, and there was inaction, and much of it happened in a closed program where few would know. Those who knew, and did nothing, must be held accountable.

The images of Tuesday -- election day -- continued for Paterno, as students gathered everywhere to support him.

At his home after practice he came out and greeted them. "I love you," he said. It will be as lasting an image as any.

Students continued at Old Main and downtown and at Paternoville, supporting their coach on an amazing night in the place called Happy Valley.

Many students love him. That has not changed. Students, like many of you reading this blog and our website, look up to him, respect him as the legend, think of him as a grandfather.

That has not changed in the way that support for Paterno has moved in alumni circles. Students have seen many falls from grace in their lives already. They support him.

Coming on election day, the student engagement -- they're reading newspapers and reading online like alumni -- reminded you of their interest three years ago in the presidential election for Obama. i always wonder whether they'll be back in the process in that way next year, after what they've seen from Washington.

Students will be angry -- very angry -- if Paterno is the only one who pays the price. Penn State trustees should realize that.

Paterno's future is being decided in the worst way. This is tough, tough stuff. These images will last if it ends so soon.

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