Penn State ex-president praises Paterno as leader

The former Penn State president who quit under pressure on the same day Joe Paterno was fired says Paterno was the university's greatest ambassador and showed unprecedented leadership.

Graham Spanier issued a statement Sunday after Paterno died of lung cancer.

Spanier says he was honored to work with Paterno. He praises him for being a leader in academic advancement, philanthropy and integrity and excellence in sports for more than six decades.

Spanier was forced out and Paterno fired as coach Nov. 9 by the university's trustees in the wake of child sex-abuse accusations against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky awaits trial and denies the allegations.

Spanier's statement describes him as president emeritus.