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Paterno's son denies reports Penn State coach on way out

Penn State coach Joe Paterno is fighting for his job amid "eroding" support from the university's board of trustees and a widening sex-abuse scandal and possible cover-up centered on former assistant and one-time heir apparent Jerry Sandusky.

The New York Times cited two sources in reporting Tuesday that Paterno's tenure likely would end within days or weeks.

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Paterno's son, Scott, denied the report.

"No one has asked Joe to resign," Scott Paterno told The Associated Press in a text message.

Paterno's regularly scheduled news conference was abruptly canceled Tuesday by a university spokesman who cited "ongoing legal circumstances."

Late Tuesday night, the school's board of trustees said it would appoint a special committee to conduct an investigation into the "circumstances" that resulted in the indictments of Sandusky, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz. The committee will be appointed Friday at the board's regular meeting, which Gov. Tom Corbett said he plans to attend.

Sandusky, who spent three decades on the Penn State staff before retiring in 1999, was accused of molesting eight young boys between 1994 and 2009. The 67-year-old's next hearing, initially scheduled for Wednesday, was postponed and has not been rescheduled. Curley and Schultz have been charged with failing to notify authorities after an eyewitness reported an alleged 2002 assault.

Scott Paterno said his father was disappointed over the decision by PSU president Graham Spanier to cancel the news conference. Addressing reporters outside his parents' house, Scott said Joe was prepared to answer questions about Sandusky -- who maintains he is innocent -- and further that his father plans to coach not only Saturday's game against Nebraska, but for the long haul.

"I know you guys have a lot of questions. I was hoping I could answer them today. We'll try to do it as soon as we can," Joe Paterno said to a group of reporters as he got into his car.

Late in the afternoon, Paterno stepped out of a silver sedan being driven by his wife, Sue, and headed to the team practice. At one corner of the facility, managers hastily put plywood boards over an exposed fence to block photographers' view of the field.

Hundreds of fans staged a raucous rally outside Paterno's home Tuesday night. He appeared briefly, along with some family members, and thanked the crowd for coming.

"I've lived for this place. I've lived for people like you guys and girls," Paterno said. "It's hard for me to say how much this means.

"As you know, the kids that were the victims, I think we ought to say a prayer for them."

Later, at least one thousand students descended on the administration building at about 11 p.m. ET, chanting "Joe Paterno!" over and over, along with Penn State cheers.

Paterno, 84, has been head coach for 46 years and part of the Penn State staff for more than six decades.

A person familiar with the trustees' discussions said support there for Paterno was "eroding," but couldn't gauge whether the board would take action. The same person said Spanier also has lost support ahead of Friday's board meeting. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Authorities have said that Paterno isn't a target of the investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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