Pennsylvania State trustees have sacked American football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier amid criticism of the way university officials handled allegations of child sex abuse against a longtime assistant coach.
The sackings came hours after Paterno, an icon in US sports, had announced he planned to retire at the end of the college football season.
The 84-year-old coach is in his 46th season at the helm of the Nittany Lions, a team he has guided to two national titles while amassing the most wins of any major-college coach.
However, the board of trustees decided Paterno and Spanier would have to go immediately as the outcry exploded in the wake of the arrest of a former assistant coach.
Jerry Sandusky, who is charged with sexually assaulting eight boys over a span of 15 years - some of them at Penn State facilities - has said through his lawyer he is innocent.