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

Two young children killed in deadly Queens fire

Two 4-year-old children died after a blaze at their Far Rockaway home on Saturday night. The Queens fire injured three others, including a third sibling.

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.