Violence erupted last night after it was announced legendary coach Joe Paterno, left, will never take charge of another game. President Graham Spanier, is also out. Thousands of students gathered at the university's Old Main building, in State College, central Pennsylvania, to protest Mr Paterno's firing. They then filed out on to the street and some began causing damage to property. The Board of Trustees said it had acted 'swiftly and decisively' with the sackings.
A riot involving thousands of Penn State football fans erupted last night at the announcement their long-term head coach Joe Paterno would be sacked with 'immediate effect' for his role in the sex scandal which has rocked the university.
The college's Board of Trustees also forced the resignation of president Graham Spanier after allegations that for years the school's former football defence coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually abused young boys.
Mr Paterno, 84, had said he would retire at the end of the 2011 season but the trustees stepped in to tell the legendary coach he will never take charge of another game following the allegations of a cover up.
Assistant coach Tom Bradley has been named interim football coach while Penn State provost, Rodney Erickson will become interim president.
Waving to the crowd: Joe Paterno and his, wife, Susan, stand on their porch to thank supporters gathered outside their home after the football coach was sacked
Wreckage: The students clambered on top of the news van after flipping it over and pelting rocks at a fire truck which attempted to clean up the resulting oil spill
Unrest: Penn State University students take to the streets and chanted Mr Paterno's name after hearing the famed coach had been sacked
Police control: Riot officers try to calm the crowds down
Arrests: Around 400 riot police tried to disperse the crowd with reports of tear gas being used
The announcement came as it emerged that federal officials will investigate whether Penn State officials violated federal law by failing to report alleged sexual abuse by the school's former football defense coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
Speaking at his house to a large gathering of students, Mr Paterno said: 'Right now, I'm not the football coach, and that's something I have to get used to.'
He then urged the students, who chanted 'We want Joe back!', to 'go study' and 'pray a little bit for those victims'. His wife Sue picked up a bouquet of flowers and addressed the crowd in tears, saying: 'Thank you all for your support. We love you.' Mr Paterno later issued a statement, which read: 'I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees' decision, but I have to accept it.'
Handcuffed: Eight young men have been identified as the targets of sexual advances or assaults by Sandusky from 1994 to 2009, prosecutors said
Sandusky, whose defenses were usually anchored by tough-guy linebackers - hence the moniker 'Linebacker U' - spent three decades at the school. The charges against him cover the period from 1994 to 2009.
Sandusky, 67, was arrested on Saturday and released on $100,000 bail after being arraigned on 40 criminal counts.
The allegations against Sandusky, who started The Second Mile in 1977, range from sexual advances to touching to oral and anal sex. Read more>>