Signs, vigil mark anniversary of Paterno's death

January 23, 2013 - 12:33 AM
Penn State Paterno Football

Momentos surround the headstone at the grave of former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, in State College, Pa. Supporters of Paterno are marking the 1-year anniversary of his death with a candlelight vigil Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — A candlelight vigil is being held near the Penn State campus to mark the anniversary of the death of Hall of Fame football coach Joe Paterno.

About 150 people gathered on a chilly Tuesday night in front of a downtown mural that includes a depiction of Paterno.

Paterno died Jan. 22, 2012, of lung cancer at age 85. His death came more than two months after he was fired in the fallout over the child sex abuse scandal involving retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Paterno's legacy remains a sensitive topic among many alumni, ex-players and local residents.

Supporters say his contributions to Penn State during a 46-year head-coaching career can't be overlooked, including a focus on academics and philanthropy. Some accuse the school of acting hastily in ousting him.