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Ryan Nall and his Oregon State football teammates thought Monday's meeting was going to be a typical one after a game weekend.

Gary Andersen was a little late. It turned out that he was speaking to his coaching staff.

And the team meeting was not business as usual. Andersen told the players that he was leaving OSU.

"Then he came down and it wasn't what we were expecting," OSU running back Nall said. "It's an unfortunate thing and he wanted to make sure that we understood that it was the business part of it and it sucks, but like coach A told us in the meeting, it's a business and it's one of those things where it just happened.

"I know college athletics is a business and just like anything, if you're not performing well, they're looking for somebody to come replace your spot. Unfortunately it came down to that and it is what it is, I guess."

It was a shock to the players, who had no idea that a decision like that was coming, particularly halfway through the season.

When Andersen began to choke up while trying to speak, Nall at first thought it was about the coach's family.

"My first reaction was like, did something happen to his family? And lo and behold, something did. We are his family," Nall said.

Then it was the players' turn to get emotional.

"Guys were emotional, tears were shed, guys were upset and it was hard to understand why this was happening at the time," Nall said. "But we came back together and coach Hall talked to us and coach A was in there for a little bit as well, just as that transition of him leaving, going out and he wanted to make sure that we understood what was happening and that we weren't just left out to dry, and I think he did that."

Nall said Andersen did not imply he was under pressure to leave.

Andersen let them know that it had been something that had been discussed for some time.

"And it's been brewing up for the last couple weeks and him and the A.D. (Scott Barnes) discussed it multiple times and it was a long, hard decision that they came to and that's what he felt needed to be done, and so be it," Nall said.

Andersen was important to Nall and it appears likely that nearly the entire team thought highly of him as a person and coach.

"He means the world to me," Nall said. "He kind of set the path for me and my success and without him none of this would be possible. I probably wouldn't be talking to (the media) and you probably wouldn't be looking at me as the leader of this team. He put me in the position to be successful and I can't thank him enough for that."

Here are some reactions by players on their Twitter accounts:

Running back Thomas Tyner: "GA is one of those guys you want to keep in contact with after football. Hurts to see him go, truly going to miss this man. Thank you for the opportunity you have given me. Love you coach!"

Linebacker Kee Whetzel: "He should NOT be gone ... he was NEVER the problem. ..."

Safety Jalen Moore: "Always kept it real since day 1. It never was about the money. Appreciate you for believing in me when I had nothing. Love u Coach A."

Now the Beavers head into the final six games of the season without a coach who for many was the only head coach they had played for in college.

"It's a difficult spot to be in," Nall said. "Nobody likes to lose a head coach right in the middle of the season, literally in the middle of the season, so all we can do is play for him and we said that in our meeting (Monday): play for him, play for one another, continue to fight, don't give up. And just because the season's not going the way we want it to doesn't mean we can't turn it around. There's six games left and we can still win out and still go to a bowl game."

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Sports Reporter