Police in riot gear have confronted hundreds of Penn State students who took to the streets after the ouster of football coach Joe Paterno.

Crowds toppled a television news van and at least one photographer has been pelted with a rock.

The students flooded downtown State College on Wednesday night after Paterno and university President Graham Spanier were fired amid a growing furor linked to their handling of sex abuse allegations against a former assistant football coach.

Officers used pepper spray to control the crowd. Some students chanted `We want Joe! We want Joe!" Others kicked in the windows out of the toppled news van.

Paterno had announced earlier in the day he planned to retire after the season and expressed remorse for not having done more after he learned of the sex assault allegations.

STATEMENT FROM JOE PATERNO:

"I am disappointed with the Board of Trustees' decision, but I have to accept it.

A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed. I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm and please respect the university, its property and all that we value.

I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be forever in your debt."