Speakers criticized the actions of the trustees and president Rodney Erickson in response to a critical university-authorized investigation led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh and tough sanctions imposed by the NCAA over the handling of child sex-abuse complaints against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who was convicted in June of 45 child sexual-abuse counts.
A cardboard cutout of former coach Joe Paterno stood in front of Old Main next to the speakers, and many of those attending wore shirts or carried signs commemorating him.
Harris said the Penn State community cannot allow the board and administration to "erase" the coach, who was fired Nov. 9 and died of complications from lung cancer in January.
Trustee Anthony Lubrano, wearing rolled-up khakis in the style of Paterno to honor the former coach, said he met with Paterno less than two weeks before his death. The 85-year-old coach had just come from a chemotherapy treatment, but his thoughts were only about Penn State, which he said he wanted to leave a better place than it had been when he first came, Lubrano said.
"This is a man who would be dead in 12 days, and his greatest concern was our school," Lubrano said.
Lubrano called for legislative restructuring of the board, and criticized Gov. Corbett, who has a seat on the board.
A school spokesman declined to comment.
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