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Team arrives as campus farewell for Paterno begins

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Members of the Penn State football team and the athletic department have arrived at the campus faith center, where a viewing is being held Tuesday for Joe Paterno.

The players wore dark suits and filed out of three blue Penn State buses — the same buses that once carried Paterno and the team to games on fall Saturdays. Son Scott Paterno was seen coming in and out of the center.

The 85-year-old Paterno, the winningest coach in major college football, died Sunday. He disclosed his lung cancer in November, days after he was fired in the aftermath of the child sex-abuse charges against former assistant Jerry Sandusky.

This marked the start of three days of public events as the Penn State community in State College and beyond said goodbye to the man who led the Nittany Lions to 409 wins over 46 years.

Big crowds were expected to show their love for Paterno, starting with a 10-hour public viewing at 1 p.m. EST. The viewing on campus is at the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, with another public viewing Wednesday. After that, Paterno's family will hold a private funeral and procession through State College.

On Thursday, the school's basketball arena will be the site of a public service called "A Memorial for Joe." Penn State was expecting a huge demand for seats and set a two-per-person limit on tickets.

Scott Paterno said despite the turmoil, Paterno remained peaceful and upbeat in his final days and still loved the school.

The revered coach was fired Nov. 9 after he was criticized over his handling of the allegations against Sandusky in 2002. Pennsylvania's state police commissioner said in not going to the police, Paterno may have met his legal duty but not his moral one.

Bitterness over Paterno's removal has turned up in many forms, from online postings to a rewritten newspaper headline placed next to Paterno's statue at the football stadium blaming the trustees for his death. A headline that read "FIRED" was crossed out and made to read, "Killed by Trustees." Lanny Davis, lawyer for the school's board, said threats have been made against the trustees.

Scott Paterno, however, stressed his father did not die with a broken heart and did not harbor resentment toward Penn State.

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Associated Press writer Mark Scolforo contributed to this report.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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