Reactions to Joe Paterno's retirement

Updated: November 10, 2011, 1:40 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

A sampling of reaction from Penn State players, coaches, alumni and others after Joe Paterno, who had said earlier Wednesday he would retire as coach at the end of the season, was ousted by university trustees along with president Graham Spanier following child sex-abuse charges against former assistant Jerry Sandusky:

Joe Paterno, speaking to a small group of students that clustered around his house after firing: "Let's see what's going to happen, OK? Right now I'm not the coach. And I've got to get used to that. After 61 years, I've got to get used to it."

Kevin Harley, spokesman for Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett who participated in a phone conference with trustees: "I think he certainly understood maybe more than anyone else, given his role as attorney general in this investigation, he understood the magnitude of this case, obviously before anybody else would have and he believes, as he said this morning, that what he was looking for was for the board to take swift and decisive action to restore the trust and integrity of the university."

Ariel Chavarria, Penn State junior: "After all he's done for this school he didn't deserve to go out like this. As students, we respect him so much. We deserve to send him off in the last game."

Graham Spanier, former Penn State president: "This university is a large and complex institution, and although I have always acted honorably and in the best interests of the university, the buck stops here. In this situation, I believe it is in the best interests of the university to give my successor a clear path for resolving the issues before us."

Sue Paterno, Joe Paterno's wife, to a crowd of students: "You're all so sweet. And I guess we have to go beat Nebraska without being there. We love you all, go Penn State."

Paul Posluszny, Jacksonville Jaguars and former Penn State linebacker: ". ... I love Penn State. I went to school there, it was such an important part of my life. It's part of me. I will never say, 'Oh, I regret going there now because of it.' That's just now the case. ... But this situation is just an unbelievable black eye for the program and it's going to be tough because whenever anybody says Penn State or you see Penn State, sexual assault of young kids is what's going to come to mind, and that's such an unfortunate thing."

Jim Caldwell, Indianapolis Colts coach and former Penn State assistant: "I've certainly been in prayer for the young people that are involved in this, young men as they are now. I certainly feel for them. I don't know a whole lot about all the details. I haven't read through all the transcripts and things of that nature. ... I'm also very close to coach Paterno. It's tough to see his legacy ending in this way."

Kathy Schmouder, Penn State graduate: "This one moment in time, this one decision, is going to tarnish his reputation and put a big black eye on Penn State and what he stood for. I can't imagine what it will be like to live with, knowing you knew this nine years ago and you did the bare minimum. How many more lives were affected by that decision not to go to police? How could he betray all of us like that?"

Mack Brown, Texas coach: "I've known Coach Paterno since I started coaching. I know nothing of the circumstances, but college football will miss him greatly on the field. He has done much for the game, and for Penn State."

Harvey Perlman, University of Nebraska-Lincoln chancellor: "This has obviously been a very emotional week for the Penn State community. We hope for the best for everyone, particularly the children alleged to have been mistreated or exploited. The allegations of abuse, if true, represent personal failings. Penn State, our Big Ten colleague, is still a great university."

From verified Twitter accounts:

A.Q. Shipley (@aqshipley), Philadelphia Eagles and former Penn State lineman: "I cant thank coach paterno for every opportunity he gave me to succeed in life not just football..he has meant more to me than any person other than my parents...i will be forever grateful for the opportunity coach paterno @TomBradleyPSU and coach dick anderson gave me! It was an absolute honor to have played for you and learned from you coach paterno..he has meant so much to one institution and to so many ppl in the penn state community! Thank you so much for everything Coach Joe Paterno."

Derrick Williams (@dwheelz12), Detroit Lions and former Penn State wide receiver: "Wasn't really going say anything about what's going on at Penn state just was praying for the family involved .. but I just got news Joe Was fired and if that is the case and i was on that team this week I wouldn't take the field.. after all this has done for this university They couldn't let him finish this year off.. Joe paterno is Penn state."

Heath Evans (@HeathEvans), former NFL fullback: "This is a "Sad" but "Victorious" day for everyone of the children that were wounded by Sandusky & the PSU cover-up!"

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.