STATE COLLEGE — Hundreds of mourners were in a line more than a quarter of a mile long earlier today to pay their respects to the late Joe Paterno.
Ninety minutes before the public viewing was slated to begin at the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, a line wrapped around the center, filled with people waiting to pay their respects to Joe Paterno.
"He is Penn State," said one of the people waiting. Mary Fowler, of Latrobe, who said she went to school with Sue Paterno. She said this must be hard on her old schoolmate, but she believed the show of support would help the family.
Megan Smith, a 1999 graduate, got up at 7 a.m. to drive to State College from her home in Virginia.
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"He just means Penn State to me. When I think of Penn State, I think of him. He was like a grandfather."
Penn State student Larry Ofcharsky, 21, of Wilkes Barre said "we came out to pay our respects to the greatest college football coach of all time."
"He's more than that," said Chelsie Daugherty, 20, of Scranton, who accompanied Ofcharsky. "Everything he has done here, we're here to pay our respects."
Paterno’s sons, Scott and Jay, accompanied their father's casket as the body of the football legend arrived back at campus about 8:30 a.m. this morning.
Private viewings for the family and football players was to follow, with the public viewing scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and continue through 11 p.m. Public viewing also will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday. At 2 p.m., a private funeral service for the family will be held, and the funeral procession will then make its way through campus and downtown State College.
Plans call for one current and one former member of the football team to stand on each side of the casket during the viewing, on a rotating basis throughout the day.
The football players Tuesday wore dark suits and arrived in three Penn State buses.
Among the mourners in attendance were Franco Harris, NFL receivers Deon Butler and Jordan Norwood, Norwood’s father Baylor Assistant Coach Brian Norwood and former quarterback Daryll Clark.