Hundreds of Penn State students protest Paterno firing

Joe Paterno weaves his way through a crowd of Penn State students earlier this week at his State College home.
ROB CARR/GETTY IMAGES

More than 1,000 protesting Penn State University students poured into the streets around campus on Wednesday after head football coach Joe Paterno was fired in fallout from a child-abuse scandal at the school.

Chanting “Hell no, Joe won’t go” and “We want Joe back,” they also cursed former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who was charged on Saturday with sexually abusing eight young boys over a period of nearly 15 years.

Two other university officials have been charged with failing to report an incident in 2002 when Sandusky allegedly was seen sexually assaulting a child.

Paterno, who has been head coach for 46 years, was dismissed Wednesday by the university’s board of trustees along with university President Graham Spanier hours after the U.S. Education Department announced an investigation of conduct at Penn State.

The students filled two city blocks near the campus and turned over a media van before earth-moving equipment was brought in to right the vehicle. Members of the crowd also damaged at least two light poles.

Scores of police and state troopers, some in riot gear, tried to clear the streets, and some officers used a chemical spray to disperse the demonstrators. Crowds thinned somewhat after a light rain began to fall.

At least three people were escorted away by police but it was not immediately clear if they were arrested. A police spokeswoman had said she was not aware of any arrests.

“I haven’t seen this kind of student outrage about anything since I’ve been here,” said Caroline Celoquin, a senior from Westchester, Pennsylvania.

Asked how she felt about Paterno being fired, Nicole Atlak, a freshman from Toms River, New Jersey, said: “Absolutely disgusted. From a student’s perspective, it’s like where do we go from here? We no longer have a president. We no longer have a 45-year legacy.”

A student with a bullhorn addressed the crowd, saying: “I think it’s only fair to let him (Paterno) ride out the season because this is the house that Joe built.”

While most of the students were protesting the decision, some said they understood the move by the board of trustees and did not condone Paterno’s failure to report the alleged sexual abuse to police. Still, the majority seemed more upset that Paterno was not allowed to complete the season, as he had wanted.

Paterno won more games than any other major college coach in history. He told a grand jury investigation that when he was informed in 2002 of his assistant coach’s alleged sexual abuse of a boy, he passed the information on to the athletic director but did not follow up. The alleged abuse continued for several more years.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

'Five Star': A coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang…

'Five Star' tells a coming-of-age story about Brooklyn's gang culture at the Tribeca Film Festival.

National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

NYPD detective shoots partner: DA

A New York City Police detective was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence while on the clock.

Local

Judge strikes down NY limits on donations to…

A federal judge on Thursday reluctantly struck down New York's limits on donations to independent political action committees as unconstitutional, potentially ushering in a new…

Movies

Tribeca: 'Goodbye to All That' star Paul Schneider…

Paul Schneider talks about his new film "Goodbye to All That," not acting too much and how he'd rather indulge in simple pleasures than play the scene.

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

'A Brony Tale' documents men who are into…

Ashleigh Ball, a voice actress on "My Little Pony," speaks to us.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

MLB

Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda ejected for using pine…

Pineda was thrown out of the game against the Red Sox Wednesday for having pine tar on his neck -- for all the world to see.

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.