When news broke of Paterno's death Sunday morning, Twitter reacted … again.
In an unusual situation, news of Paterno's death first surfaced on Saturday night, and spread on Twitter with its usual speed. However, the reports of Paterno's death turned out to be premature, and his family responded to the reports that Paterno was seriously ill but hadn't died.
The false reports of Paterno's death began at 8:45 p.m. ET on Saturday night, when the Penn State student website Onward State reported the death of the football coach.
According to that site, news of Paterno's death came from football players who said they received an email "informing them of Paterno's passing."
The Onward State site tweeted the following:
"Our sources can now confirm: Joseph Vincent Paterno has passed away tonight at the age of 85."Soon after that, CBS published an obituary with the headline "Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno dies at 85."
Meanwhile, Dan McGinn, a spokesman for the Paterno family, told The New York Times that the reports of Paterno's death were false, and at about the same time Paterno's son Jay confirmed that report with his tweet:
"I appreciate the support & prayers. Joe is continuing to fight."CBS later corrected its report, issuing an apology "for publishing an unsubstantiated report that former Penn State coach Joe Paterno had died."
On Sunday morning, the family released another statement, saying that Paterno had indeed died "earlier today."
According to the family's statement, ""His loss leaves a void in our lives that will never be filled."
"He died as he lived. He fought hard until the end, stayed positive, thought only of others and constantly reminded everyone of how blessed his life had been. His ambitions were far reaching, but he never believed he had to leave this Happy Valley to achieve them. He was a man devoted to his family, his university, his players and his community."