Penn State Students Protest After Paterno Dismissal

MORE: Joe Paterno Speaks After Firing | PSU Board of Trustees Press Conference | More Coverage

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (KDKA) — Following the Penn State Board of Trustees announcement that Joe Paterno was out as the university’s head football coach, students took to the streets of State College.

The Board of Trustees dismissed Paterno and Graham Spanier, the university’s former president, late Wednesday night amid growing anger over the handling of child sexual abuse allegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

During the news conference, reporters asked members of the Board of Trustees about possible protests.

“I think we have to do what we think was the right thing to do in these circumstances. There may be actions and reactions that flow from that, and we can’t make our decisions based on what may happen,” John Surma, vice president of the Board of Trustees, said. “We have to do what we think is right.”

Some students gathered outside Paterno’s home.

With his wife at his side, Paterno came outside and addressed those who gathered: “I love you, get some sleep, study, we still have things to do.”

KDKA’s David Highfield reports:

Meanwhile, other students, an estimated 2,000, took to the streets of the community to protest the ouster of Paterno.

Some were peaceful while others set off firecrackers, threw eggs and rocks, and toppled a street lamp. Some students held signs as they marched from Old Main to Beaver Avenue in downtown State College. There were also chants of “We want JoePa!” and “One more game!”

“He really made this school into what it is today and we really love JoePa,” said Brett Schwartz, a Penn State sophomore.

KDKA’s Heather Abraham reports:

At one point, students overturned a news van belonging to a station in Altoona. The windshield was cracked and some students were spotted standing on top of the van.

Police in riot gear appeared to use some pepper spray at one point to try and disperse the crowd. The streets were mostly clear by 1 a.m.

In the aftermath, some students say they are embarrassed by the riots.

“I think that that’s the worst reaction we could have had,” said Felix Weilgel, a student. “I understand that people were angry, disappointed, sad, but we could have shown that by getting to together on Old Main Lawn or even on the street but quietly, peacefully.”

There is no accurate number yet on how many were arrested.

PSU Board: Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier Out
More News on Penn State
WARNING Contains Graphic Material: Read The Entire Grand Jury Presentment
VIDEO: Watch The Attorney General’s News Conference (11/7)
Attorney General, State Police Commissioner Statements: Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 |
Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office
Penn State Nittany Lions


One Comment

  1. Jim says:

    overturning a van, toppling street lights, etc. Yea, this was about Paterno…No, it was about a bunch of hoodlums looking for an excuse to riot. Way to represent your school.

    1. George says:

      I don’t know the whole story, but I think the Penn State Board of Trustees made themselves judge and jury as far as Joe Paterno is concerned. Why didn’t they place him under suspension, with pay, pending the outcome of an investigation? I agree he should have done more, but don’t forget, he did what was required of him according to the law at that time. Is that enough to punish him as they did? People are acting as though he was an eye witness to the crime. “Let thee without sin cast the first stone.” I am not for nor against Joe. I’ll wait until the result of the investigation is known.

      1. Frank says:

        Penn State isn’t a court system. The Board can do as they please, as they have. Paterno is a god at PSU. He abused his power by allowing this to happen when he knew what his coach was doing. That is immoral and the Board acted accordingly.

  2. PSU is a CULT says:

    well….what would you expect a cult to do when their leader is FIRED?

  3. Dave says:

    These people are sick! I don’t care how revered Paterno is/was, a horrendous crime occurred because of his choice and that of the administration to look the other way. There is no greater crime than harming a child, and knowing this was going on, yet still not saying anything for the sake of maintaining your position and elite status is pathetic! What if it was their child, how would they feel then?

  4. Donovan OLeary says:

    As a father of a young boy, I am outraged at the support of Joe Pa. When these “kids” grow up and have kids of their own, they will understand how wrong they are.

    What really infuriates me, is that I don’t understand how Joe Pa could go on with “business as usual” with Sanduski, even after hearing of the alleged rape. HE FLAT OUT TURNED HIS HEAD! THAT’S WRONG!!! If you support JOE PA, you support child abuse.

    1. Christy says:

      Mr. OLeary,
      I am the mother of a boy. I am a Penn State Alumna. Yes, Jerry Sandusky fooled a lot of people in the State College community. “Back in the day,” when Sandusky was popping into classrooms at the university to make sure the players were attending class, he seemed like a great guy. We now know, especially those of us who have read the grand jury report, that he was the scariest type of monster. No excuses. When he is convicted, he should be locked up and the key thrown in the deepest lake.
      However…..I am grown up, and I am a teacher-therefore a mandated reporter of child abuse. I am duty bound to report what I see/hear to my supervisor and child protective services. I have done this, unfortunately, more than once. I don’t just call the police on heresay. I report it. To the people/agencies that I have been directed to report it to. Joe reported it. McCreary saw it. Not Joe. Joe didn’t blow it off, he acted on it it accordance with Pennsylvania statutes (included in the grand jury report) that say the head of the instution is responsible for reporting to authorities. He did not know the serious manner of the attack on this young boy until the rest of us did-when the grand jury let us know.
      I feel that it is very irresponsible to say that if you support Joe Paterno, that you support child abuse. Believing that his termination was unjust (because he did take action) does not equate with the belief that terrorizing young children is acceptable, in any way, shape or form.
      By the way, where do you get your information that Joe continued with business as usual with Sandusky? Sandusky retired in 1999, this incident was in 2002. The administration allowed Sandusky to continue to have access to the facilities, not Joe Paterno.

      1. lions losers says:

        there you go sticking up for a old loser he knew what was going on and didnt tell the cops bottom line

      2. Dave says:

        You just said that you are required to report to your supervisor AND child protective services; thereby, informing two separate entities just in case it does get swept under the rug. Paterno told his superior, yes, but he knew what Sandusky did, and did nothing else. As a result, several more victims were robbed for their childhood. I don’t know why you Penn Staters think that Paterno is God Himself? No one compares, and certainly NOT Joe Paterno. Football is one thing, but the life of a young child is worth more than any elite status or title!

  5. Michael Devlin says:

    Joe told school administrators about the “crimes” which Sandusky hasn’t been found gulity of, by the way. The adminstration “dropped the ball”.

    1. say it aint so joe says:

      And when they looked the other way? He kept silent too.

  6. Karen says:

    No…everyone who witessed or heard about these allegations years ago DROPPED THE BALL!!!! They are just as guilty as the person(s) who committed these crimes. You don’t just go to administrators…you go to the proper authorities. All 50 states have some form of mandatory reporting law and are plainly stated. If there is reasonable cause to believe a child is being abused…you have the duty to report it to police or child protective services. You don’t sweep it under the rug because you are worried about what people will say or think about your college…you don’t look the other way because you are more worred about your football team and you don’t want your college to receive a blackeye in the public eye. You do the RIGHT thing. You don’t turn your back on these children just to save your own butt/paychecks/kickbacks and everything else. I just hope and pray that this isn’t going on in other colleges across the country. God is seeking justice and those responsible will pay a high price either in this life or the next. It’s disguting and makes my stomach turn knowing that this stuff goes on in our world.

  7. Dave says:

    Are you that blind, or are you just a Joe Pa follower. Yes, he did tell the administration about the incidents, but he continued coaching with Sandusky, knowing what “allegedly” occurred, permitting Sandusky to interact with kids, even though he is a straight-up pedophile. There is absolutely NO excuse for the major cover up that backfired on Penn State. I’m sure Paterno was told to keep his mouth shut, but bottom line, human life is worth more than any “godly” staus bestowed upon you. Paterno will have to live with the fact that because he kept his mouth shut, many innocent, young boys were harmed, probably for life. These boys already had problems and were looking for positive role models, and this is how they are treated? There is no exucse for Paterno on up to the president. They are all responsible for the fate of these children.

    1. lions losers says:

      got that right brother

  8. Justmyfeeling says:

    I love how the media has turned on Joe when he did what he was supposed to do with what he seen! He wasnt the person committing the crime though he is now receiving all the brunt of it! I guess now you know who has more money in the Cover Up! This should change the Law forever!! If you ever witness something you better own up to it or someone someday will come after you!!! If I see someone robbing a store I am in and I just tell the manger and slip out the door and he does nothing about it and 15 customers get killed I will get the blame for it!!!! Not the guy who did the robbing???????

  9. my2cents says:

    Is it possible that Penn State was just following the example set forth by the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH of just sweeping “this kind of thing” under the rug???? Lets face it, the Catholic Church right up to the current Pope has shown the WORLD this example for decades!!! All this reaction to it happening at Penn State, yet how many catholics have sat by for decades and not shown this much reaction when it happens in their HOUSE OF GOD! Do ya’ll still support the catholic church after what they have covered up? At least Penn State did the right thing by clearing house. Yeah still waiting for the catholic church and the Pope to set that example…

    1. joepa says:

      yeah, im surprised the psu administration didn’t get a promotion to priesthood.

    2. my2cents says:

      1% of all priests is a huge number compared to those involved at PS! Still trying to downplay the catholic responsibility I see. I’m not trying to take the blame off anyone as i said Penn State did the right thing clearing house. BUT when they gonna fire the Pope for not investigating?? Or the Pgh Diocese for just moving it’s “problems” out of state? The behavior of the individuals and Penn State is exactly like the Catholic Church

    3. Dave says:

      @my2cents. He said LESS THAN 1 percent. Not 1 percent.

  10. Sad Times in Happy Valley says:

    Grow up, kids . . . you’re in college now and SUPPOSED to be acting like ADULTS. Quit being destructive, disruptive brats.

  11. Simple Man says:

    Sandusky certainly did coach with Paterno. Why is MCleary a sissy? Because he saw a young boy being raped and freaked out? The difference between me and McCleary is I wouldn’t have been afraid and ran away. And as far as the kids protesting because their almighty Joe Pa was fired – too bad! He is involved in a heinous crime situation, and in order to bring any semblance back to that poor pathetic college, they need to rid themselves of anyone associated with the situaiton. BTW- the last time I looked, turning over a news van isn’t considered a peaceful protest. Which one of those little brats is going to pay for that? Oh, yeah, that’s right, they did it in the name of the almighty Joe Pa, so it’s ok. Get a life!

  12. Sick of it says:

    Maybe you should get all of the facts straight before you post comments supporting Joe. Take 10 minutes of your life and read the grand jury testimony You will then see WHY he “retired” in 98. Read the testimony…soak it all up…and THEN think about if one of these children was yourself, or a brother or sister, a friend of the family…would you think that Joe did a “good enough” job? Should we all be “proud” of this man? That he was such a coward that he couldn’t do what he knew was MORALLY right? He may have followed “procedure”, but what human would continue to let this happen to young children? Knowing that he was on that campus with other boys? Joe is NOT the victim here….the little boys who were fondled and raped are. Football isn’t the most important thing in life….morals and values are….doing the right thing…helping others that can’t help themselves…that is the REAL story here. 😦

  13. lions losers says:

    hes a fudge packer too

Comments are closed.

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