Joe Paterno was fired over a phone call with the chairman and the vice chairman of the Penn State on Wednesday evening. John Surma, the vice chairman, told the media and other assembled individuals that he and Chairman Steve A. Garban dismissed Paterno dismissed the coach while he answered questions during a chaotic press conference on Wednesday night.
Given the state of the Penn State campus, this seems like the best possible route the school could have taken. Students are assembling around campus and have gathered around elsewhere at Paterno's house. Neither bringing Paterno to the chairman's office nor traveling to Paterno's house would have ended well.
The school received the resignation of President Graham Spanier earlier in the day, but will likely need to reach a severance package with both Spanier and Paterno due to certain clauses in their contracts.