On Wednesday, November 9, Penn State football head coach Joe Paterno, 84, was fired amongst a sex abuse scandal involving his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky had allegedly been sexually abusing young boys for years at” The Second Mile,” an organization devoted to helping poor youth he established in 1977. Paterno was fired because he supposedly knew about the abuses and did not come forward to authorities and oust Sandusky. Paterno has the best winning record for any major college football team in history, and the longest-running career. College students at Penn State as well as all over the country have displayed many different opinions regarding this touchy situation.
“[Paterno is a] classy guy getting a bad rap from classless people,” said Ryan Miner, a junior at The College of Wooster. ” He’s a true legend who shouldn’t have gone out in the the flames of a student riot.”
Others however, feel that Penn State handled the situation as was necessary.
“I will quote from Spiderman- ‘With great power comes great responsibility,” said Michael Dickerson, a junior at Hofstra University. “He had enough power where he could have had an investigation when he first heard from it. Its a shame that it ended this way, but it had to.”
On Wednesday night, thousands of Penn State students protested Paterno’s extermination and stormed the streets of the university’s downtown, clashing with police officers.
“As far as the student riots, they need to realize that this is bigger than Joe Paterno. However storied and legendary his career is, the weight of the problem of child molestation dwarfs the importance of his employment status, without question,” said Lauren Kirby, a junior at The University of Michigan.
Kirby added that she does not think Paterno is the only person at fault for university’s scandal.
“He’s bearing a disproportionate share of the blame here, but still deserves the consequences,” said Kirby. “Read the grand jury report and you’ll see how many people were to blame here, how many people did next to nothing or nothing at all.”
According to the report, Joseph Miller and Steven Turchetta, high school coaches of one victim, Penn State Senior Vice President of Finance Gary Schultz, and several others who worked with Sandusky were aware of some of the sexual abuse cases and did next to nothing to stop them.
“[Paterno] deserves what he is getting,” said Charles Murphy, a senior at SUNY Brockport. “No one would care if he was a nobody. Put yourself in the childrens and their parents shoes.”
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