The death of legendary football coach Joe Paterno sent shockwaves through the close-knit college community and reverberated all the way down to D.C.
"He was Penn State, he was Mr. Penn State," said alum Joe Corey.
Corey graduated from Penn 41 years ago, but his blood still runs blue.
"This is an institution that he gave his life to and in the end, they kicked him to the curb," Corey said.
Paterno lost his battle with lung cancer on Sunday, but many believe that's not the fight that took his life.
"The unfortunate scandal took its toll on him, which is just heartbreaking because I'm sure he went out with a broken heart," someone said.
Fired with just a phone call, the most winningest coach in college football history was ousted last November amid the sex abuse scandal swirling around his longtime assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Students rioted against the firing by the Board of Trustees, rallying around their beloved JoePa.
With heavy hearts, they rallied once more outside Beaver Stadium, refusing to let the last two months taint the last 46 years.
"He's going to go out as a great man, great Catholic, great coach, great leader and great family member," someone said.