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Book describes Paterno's reaction to firing

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Joe Paterno broke down and cried the day after he was dismissed as Penn State's coach, according to excerptspublished by GQ from the biography Paterno written by Joe Posnanski.

Posnanski, a former writer for Sports Illustrated, spent the 2011 season with Paterno as the Jerry Sandusky scandal unfolded and the longtime Nittany Lions coach lost his job before succumbing to lung cancer in January.

The current issue of GQ includs some pertinent passages from the book, which will be available Tuesday.

Among them was the scene at Paterno's house the day after he was fired by the Penn State board of trustees:

On Thursday, Paterno met with his coaches at his house. He sobbed uncontrollably. This was his bad day. Later, one of his former captains, Brandon Short, stopped by the house. When Brandon asked, "How are you doing, Coach?" Paterno answered, "I'm okay," but the last syllable was shaky, muffled by crying, and then he broke down and said, "I don't know what I'm going to do with myself." Nobody knew how to handle such emotion. Joe had always seemed invulnerable. On Thursday, though, he cried continually.

"My name," he told Jay, "I have spent my whole life trying to make that name mean something. And now it's gone."

In another excerpt, Paterno's son, Scott, reads the grand jury case against Sandusky for the first time:

Scott Paterno was the first in the family to understand that the Pennsylvania grand jury presentment that indicted Jerry Sandusky could end his father's career. This wasn't surprising; Scott tended to be the most realistic - or cynical, depending on who you asked - in the family. He had run for Congress and lost and along the way tasted the allure and nastiness of public life. He had worked as a lawyer and as a lobbyist. He would sometimes tell people, "Hey, don't kid yourself, I'm the asshole of the family." When Scott read the presentment, he called his father and said, "Dad, you have to face the possibility that you will never coach another game."

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