<
>

Students show support for Paterno

11/9/2011

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Stefano DiPietro first heard about the rally on Facebook around 2 p.m. Fellow Penn State students were heading to Joe Paterno's house at dusk to show support for the coach when he returned from practice.

"From there, I just tried to relay it to as many people as possible on text, Facebook, Twitter, whatever," said DiPietro, an 18-year-old freshman. "None of us want to see Joe leave. We all love Joe."

The love was evident as several hundred students crowded around Paterno's house, located just a couple of blocks from campus. Chants of "We are Penn State!" and "Joe Paterno!" filled an otherwise quiet, darkened street.

The 84-year-old coach looked happier than any senior citizen ever to have kids trample his lawn. He exited the passenger side of a white university van to thank the students in his driveway. A few minutes after that, he opened his front window to say a few more words as the crowd surged forward to hear him. And just when everybody was about to disperse some 30 minutes later, a grinning Paterno walked out the front door to address the students one more time.

"I can't tell you how much this means to me," he said. "I've lived for this place. I've lived for people like you guys and girls."

For Brian Bennett's full story, click here.