In this article, Jonathan describes the situation at Penn State with the sex scandal brooding. Penn State decided to fire the beloved Coach Joe Paterno and the university president for all of the bad publicity.
Violence erupted on Wednesday night after the Penn state school board made the decision to fire legendary football coach Joe Paterno; after the uncovering of a quickly widening child sex abuse scandal.
Protesters erupted in violence on the campus of Penn State Wednesday evening after the school board of trustees fired the legendary football coach and university president after the child sex scandal came to light. Police in riot gear were deployed on the campus when thousands of Penn state supporters expressed their anger at the decision to fire Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier over the manner in which Paterno and others handled the matter.
Around 12:20 local time Thursday, the university issued an official police dispersal order through the social media cite Facebook. This mass message warned students to vacate the downtown state college immediately. This message came after multiple violent scenes where protesters flipped cars and destroyed other personal and school property. Roughly 2,000 people gathered at Old main and moved to an area called Beaver Canyon, this street was used as a strategic position for protesters; where they could hide in the surrounding buildings and through rocks and other objects at police. The situation escalated after the school’s board of trustees held an emergency meeting Wednesday night and soon after announced the dismissal of legendary football coach Joe Paterno and University president Graham Spanier. The given reason for the dismissal of Paterno and Spanier was the university was fed up with the negative publicity they were bringing to the school. Several arrests were made on the campus Wednesday night; the chaos was soon controlled by police forces.
Sandusky is accused of sexually abusing eight boys over a 15-year span through a charity he founded for at-risk-youth. Athletic Director Tim Curley and vice president of finance and business Gary Schultz are also being charged with perjury in connection with their testimony before and grand jury considering the evidence against accused abuser Sandusky; because the two failed to notify authorities about the abuse. Curley and Schultz still maintain their innocence.
Students gathered at the HUB-Roberson Center to watch the board of trustees’ news conference on a big screen. The announce soon came that Coach Paterno would no longer be the coach of Penn State students became deathly calm and some began to cry. The board’s vote was unanimous.
Two hours later coach Paterno came out of his house and greeted hundreds of students who had gathered in his front lawn. Paterno said “Pray for the [sexual abuse] victims,” he told the crowd. “We love you.” He also later said he was disappointed with the board’s decision but would have to accept it.
“A tragedy occurred, and we all have to have patience to let the legal process proceed,” he said. “I appreciate the outpouring of support but want to emphasize that everyone should remain calm, and please respect the university, its property and all that we value.” Paterno also added, “I have been incredibly blessed to spend my entire career working with people I love. I am grateful beyond words to all of the coaches, players and staff who have been a part of this program. And to all of our fans and supporters, my family and I will be forever in your debt.”
Early Wednesday Paterno announced that he would retire at the end of the football season; he planned to coach against Nebraska in the team’s final home game. He did attend football practice that day saying this as he left “At this moment, the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status,” he said. “They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can.”
Paterno, age 84, the major-college football’s all-time wins leader, came under criticism for how he responded to the alleged sexually abuse incident involving Sandusky and a child in 2002. Sandusky, Penn State coach from 1969 through 1999, has been charged with 21 felony counts of sexually abusing eight boys over a span of 15 years. Sandusky has pled not guilty to all counts of felony charges.
Hearing about the incident from witness Mike Mcqueary, now the teams wide-receivers coach, told Paterno who soon after reported the incident to athletic director Tim Curley but not police.
Paterno has not been charged in the case, but Pennsylvania state police commissioner Frank Noonan stated there was a “moral responsibility” to contact police about potential sexual abuse involving children.
I find this case very disturbing. Paterno did exactly what he was told to do in this situation. Just as Mike Macqueary did, he did, they both told their supervisors. The problem starts when Paterno’s supervisors did not inform authorities. Paterno did nothing wrong but is in trouble for not making “a morally responsible decision on who he should inform.” What surprises me the most is Mr. Macqueary was “too young” to make the morally right decision of notifying the police, and he still has his job. I am glad though that Sandusky was caught; but what appalls me is he established a foundation to help children that were abused and he used this charity to abuse the children seeking help from him. While I think Sandusky was in the wrong I do not think that others should be punished for his actions.