Penn State president Graham Spanier, coach Joe Paterno ousted
(AP) - Penn State President Graham Spanier, one of the nation's longest-serving college presidents, was ousted Wednesday in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal at the school's football program that authorities suggested wasn't taken seriously by university officials.
Coach Joe Paterno will resign immediately. He had previously announced that he would retire by the end of the year.
Penn State trustees chose Rodney Erickson as interim president. Tom Bradley will serve as interim coach. Bradley is currently assistant coach at Penn State, where he's been a staff member for 33 seasons.
Spanier's ouster was announced Wednesday by university trustees. One of the nation's highest-paid college presidents, he had come under fire over the past several days for his handling of allegations that a former assistant football coach sexually abused boys on campus.
Shortly after the press conference ended, students poured onto campus, as you can see in the below video.
The university's Board of Trustees were planning a closed door meeting at 7 p.m. ET and officials scheduled a news conference at 10 p.m.
"Spanier apparently has submitted a letter of resignation and the board only needs to accept it, a source told ABC News' Lauren Pearle," according to the story.
Two other top administrators stepped down earlier this week after being charged with perjury in the case.
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Former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was charged last week with molesting eight boys over a 15-year period. He has denied the charges.
A grand jury report said at least two of the assaults were witnessed on campus - and one of those was reported to Spanier.
But the university president did not tell authorities about the reported attack on a young boy, which a football team graduate assistant claimed to have seen in 2002. The graduate student's accusation was passed up the chain of command to Spanier, but he said the seriousness of the encounter was not conveyed to him.
The investigation is continuing. State Attorney General Linda Kelly said Monday that Paterno is not a target of the inquiry into how the school handled the matter, but she refused to say the same for Spanier.
State police Commissioner Frank Noonan earlier this week criticized school officials' handling of the allegations, saying "a football coach or a university president or the guy sweeping the building" had a moral responsibility to call police if they suspected a child was being sexually abused. He also said Penn State had "a culture that did nothing to stop it or prevent it from happening to others."
Calls for Spanier's ouster by newspapers, online groups and petitions mushroomed in recent days, many supported by upset and disillusioned alumni.
The 63-year-old Spanier has led Penn State since 1995, and his current contract runs through 2015. The mammoth university system headquartered in State College includes 96,000 students on 24 campuses and has an annual budget of about $4.3 billion.
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