PHILADELPHIA | January 22, 2012
Onward State, a student run news publication covering Penn State posted online a letter from Devon Edwards its managing editor announcing his immediate resignation after Onward State's Twitter account (@OnwardState) sent messages stating the 46-year ex-Nittany Lions coach Joseph Vincent "Joe" Paterno had died at 85.
Paterno's sons disputed the Saturday posting, but not before the bogus information was reported and almost went viral by several media outlets across the country. Onward State's tweets were retweeted numerous times. Edwards says in the letter that he takes responsibility and "never, in a million years, would have thought that Onward State would be cited by the national media," according to a report from the Associated Press. He did not explain how the error occurred and attempts to reach Edward were unsuccessful.
Paterno, still alive, has lung cancer, and doctors say his condition is "serious."
The following are the tweets from @OnwardState:
@Onward State - Our managing editor, and all of us at OS, would like to apologize for the misinformation and confusion tonight. http://www.facebook.com/OnwardState/post
@OnwardState - Our managing editor, and all of us at OS, would like to apologize for the misinformation and confusion tonight. http://onwardstate.com/2012/01/21/a-lett
@Scott Paterno - CBS report is wrong - Dad is alive but in serious condition. We continue to ask for your prayers and privacy during this time. RT by @OnwardState
@Onward State - We were confident when we ran with it, and are still trying to figure out where our process failed. We apologize sincerely for error. (2/2)
@Onward State - To OS followers: Our 8:45 pm tweet about's death appears to be inaccurate, according to @JayPaterno, who says he's alive. (1/2)
@Onward State - RT @sganim: #Joe_Paterno is very sick, but able to communicate, source close to family says.
@Onward State - RT @JayPaterno: I appreciate the support & prayers. Joe is continuing to fight.
@Onward State - An assortment of candles and memorabillia has been placed at the base of the statue. http://twitpic.com/8a4upp
@Onward State - A Paterno family spokesman has denied our initial report, which was corroborated by multiple sources. We're working on finding out more.
@Onward State - Students quietly sing the Alma mater as hundereds gather at the Joe Paterno statue. Tears, candles, and prayer -- but mostly silence.
@Onward State - RT @KevinHornePSU: "Here's the scene at the statue with dozens of candles at the feet. http://twitpic.com/8a4if7"
@PSU_DM_KenneyIan Kenney - For 31,007 days, the world & this great university was blessed to have Joe Paterno. Penn State will forever be grateful. Rest In Peace. RT by @OnwardState
@Onward State - We can not confirm at this moment. RT @MinkNate: Just heard on 94.5 fm radio, Paterno passed away 20 minutes ago with family by his side.