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A solemn start to the Penn State-Nebraska game

November 12, 2011 | 10:09 am


Football took a backseat before the start of the Penn State-Nebraska football game at State College, Pa., Saturday in the wake of the child sex-abuse scandal surrounding former coach Jerry Sandusky.

Both teams and many others gathered quietly at midfield for a moment of silence and prayer before the start of the game between the No. 19 Cornhuskers and No. 12 Nittany Lions.

There was also an emotional singing of the school's alma mater and senior-day introductions.

FULL COVERAGE: Penn State scandal

Jay Paterno took his father’s spot on the team bus on the way to the stadium. Joe Paterno was fired after 46 years as the team's head coach for his failure to do more to put a stop to the alleged sexual abuse of children by his former assistant coach.

It has been an emotional week at Penn State, with the school's president also fired. Mike McQueary, who witnessed the alleged incident in 2002 involving Sandusky, was also prevented from coaching Saturday, having been put on administrative leave.

Joe Paterno was not at the game. At his home, there were TV crews and reporters, and a few individuals on the sidewalk knelt and prayed.

The stadium was bathed in blue as Penn State fans made the decision to wear blue instead of their traditional white to support victims of the alleged abuse.

Some shirtless students in the front row had painted their chests light blue with white letters that spelled out, at least partially, “For the kids.”

There was no score in the game midway through the second quarter.


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Sex abuse scandal just got costlier for Penn State

-- Mike Hiserman and Mike James

Photo: Penn State's Malcolm Willis, left, and Silas Redd bow their heads in silence before Saturday's game. Credit: Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press