UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- They spoke at Joe Paterno's memorial Thursday the way that his teams played and represented Penn State for the last 46 seasons: simply, with little flash and great focus.
They emphasized academics every bit as much as football. They played fierce defense, as his teams always did, defending Paterno's reputation in the wake of the child abuse scandal that caused the university to fire him in November. They remembered Paterno as a teacher more than a coach, a philanthropist with straightforward values, and a man who prized the competitive instinct.
And at the close of the ceremony at the Bryce Jordan Center, right across the parking lot from Beaver Stadium, Jay Paterno, his son and former assistant coach, spoke for nearly half an hour with an emphasis on Paterno as a husband, father and grandfather.
The heavens provided a typical late-season Saturday of weather for the memorial: rain, leaden skies, temperatures in the mid-30s, pretty much a copy of Oct. 29, the day of Paterno's last game as a head coach.
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