Penn St. students flood streets, tip van

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The scene in State College turned ugly Wednesday night after the ouster of football coach Joe Paterno.

While some supporters went to Paterno's house just off campus, thousands of students descended on the administration building, shouting, "We want Joe back!" then headed to downtown to Beaver Avenue.

Witnesses said some rocks and bottles were thrown, a lamppost was toppled and a news van was knocked over, its windows kicked out. About 100 police wearing helmets and carrying batons
were on hand.

"People on the outside probably think we're just a bunch of crazy kids acting stupid," junior Andrew Ezzart told ESPN.com. "But for us, it's so much more than that. We definitely don't like the way they handled the situation. Everybody thinks they made Joe a scapegoat and this was all pinned on him."

Officers used pepper spray to control the crowd of about 2,000 people. State College police said early Thursday they were still gathering information on any possible arrests.

Penn State's board of trustees fired Paterno and university president Graham Spanier on Wednesday night amid a growing furor linked to their handling of sex abuse allegations against a former assistant football coach.

In a statement released after the board's decision, Paterno asked "that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value."

At his house, Paterno said: "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. I appreciate it. Let me think it through."

His wife, Sue, was teary-eyed as she blew kisses to about 100 students on the lawn. "You're all so sweet. And I guess we have to go beat Nebraska without being there. We love you all. Go Penn State," she said.

Paterno had announced earlier in the day he planned to retire after the season and expressed remorse for not having done more after he learned of the sex assault allegations.

Information from ESPN.com's Brian Bennett and Wayne Drehs and The Associated Press contributed to this report.