Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- As fallout from a sex scandal continues at Penn State, the nearly 2,000 Penn State graduates living here in Central New York are watching it unfold.
One of them, a 1964 graduate who's had a chance to meet coach Paterno, says this isn't the way the coach was supposed to go out.
Penn State alumnus Russ Mitchell plans to be at Beaver Stadium Saturday, where he’s been for the last 20 years, never missing a home football game. But for the first time, Russ won’t see the legendary man that’s led the team on the field so many times.
"I would have really liked to have seen him finish the year. I would have loved to have been down there this Saturday…I'm going down for the game, and have that be the last appearance for him at the game," Russ said.
Despite those who believe Paterno was in the wrong and had a moral obligation to do more than he did, Russ doesn't think he deserved to be fired and should have been allowed to finish out the season.
"I don't personally feel Joe did anything wrong. Our culture back then was different than it is today and now we're holding someone to a different standard,” Russ explained. "It's someone telling him something, he decided to report it up the line. It wasn't up to him to investigate. It was up to somebody else to investigate it."
Russ calls the whole situation tragic for the alleged victims and everyone in the university community. He says Jerry Sandusky, the man accused of the abuse, should be blamed.
"That bad apple created a problem for a great university," Russ said. "But…we’re going to survive. I'm proud of the fact I went there and I'll always be proud of the fact I went there."
The acting interim president for the university calls this one of the saddest weeks in the history of Penn State. He says he's committed to restoring the trust and confidence that so many had in the school for so many years.