Players, coaches, students react to Paterno news

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A sampling of reaction from Penn State players, coaches, alumni and others on Joe Paterno’s decision to retire as coach after the season following child sex-abuse charges against former assistant Jerry Sandusky:

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“It’s really, really pulling on the emotions of the students. Right now, they don’t know how to feel.” _ Penn State student body president T.J. Bard, a 20-year-old junior who says he’s seen students in tears in the hallways.

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“I think everybody makes mistakes and this is as horrific a mistake as has been made. … I think if the allegations are true, that everyone needs to be accountable because it’s inexcusable.” _ Pittsburgh attorney Jon Perry, a 1997 graduate whose son, Alex, was accepted to Penn State’s main campus on Tuesday.

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“I love coach Paterno so am I emotional, yeah. People you love and care about, this is a hard thing for him, I’m sure. I know it is. So it hurts me when someone you love hurts. Other than that I have a job to do. I know he’d want me to do nothing else but take care of my team. Joe is but he’s not a big sentimental guy. ‘Do your job, kid.’ That’s what he’d say.” _ Rutgers coach and former Penn State assistant Greg Schiano.

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“Shocked. It’s not going to sink in yet. He’s been a staple here for so long. It’s kind of hard to realize there’s going to be change.” _ Penn State junior Troy Weller, from Hatboro, Pa.

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“I’ve never seen players get that way. I’ve never seen coaches get that way. I’ve never seen coach (Paterno) get that down before.” _ Penn State junior cornerback Stephon Morris following Wednesday meeting with Paterno.

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Joe Paterno should step aside now and be happy that that’s all he has to do!!” _ Michael Strahan, former New York Giants’ defensive end and TV analyst, via Twitter.

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“It’s a terrible, sad series of events, especially that would lead to someone who’s accomplished so much retiring. But I think the most important concern in all of this is for the kids. That would be my utmost concern relative to this circumstance.” _ Alabama coach Nick Saban.

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