Media in Crosshairs as Penn State Students Vent Anger Over Beloved Coach’s Firing

Nov 10, 2011  •  Post A Comment

After the winningest coach in major college football history became a casualty of an ugly scandal at Penn State, many of the university’s students vented their anger at the media, The New York Times reports.

Penn State fired coach Joe Paterno Wednesday night, triggering a mass demonstration by thousands of students in downtown State College, Pa. The firing was part of a growing scandal stemming from allegations that one of Paterno’s former assistant coaches, Jerry Sandusky, sexually assaulted young boys, the story reports.

The angry students overturned a television news van that was covering the protest, one of a number of destructive acts attributed to the mob.

The Times piece reports: “They turned their ire on a news van, a symbolic gesture that expressed a view held by many that the news media exaggerated Mr. Paterno’s role in the scandal.”

One student, freshman Mike Clark, is quoted in the story saying: “I think the point people are trying to make is the media is responsible for JoePa going down.”

The story adds: “Demonstrators tore down two lamp posts, one falling into a crowd. They also threw rocks and fireworks at the police, who responded with pepper spray. The crowd undulated like an accordion, with the students crowding the police and the officers pushing them back.”

Opinions vary widely on the culpability of Paterno in the scandal. Many of the demonstrators feel he fulfilled his responsibility when he notified the athletic director of a 2002 accusation involving Sandusky and a young boy in a university shower, while other observers say Paterno had an obligation to go to the police.


  1. The media is responsible for Paterno’s firing?
    Nonsense! People have amnesia or a short memory.
    In 2004, two years after the incident occurred, Penn State’s
    president tried to oust Paterno. But the coach
    wangled his way out of it to save his victory crown and his
    legacy. What legacy? Football wins vs. sexual abuse by his
    defensive coach? It’s a big coverup by a university that’s
    more concerned with image than substance.
    People, including Penn State students, should check facts
    before behaving like morons and children throwing a temper
    tantrum. This is serious and has nothing to do with media. Penn State is attempting damage control by firing Paterno. Trouble is,
    they’re nine years late.

  2. Paterno was the loser–the one who SHOULD have called the cops on his longtime friend and coach…but he passed the buck. The foolish mob of so-called “students” are wrong to “vent their anger at the news media,” just as Nixon did when he was caught red-handed doing dirty tricks. Paterno, the college president and his cohorts should all be pilloried. The students should stop whining about losing a coach (a meaningless person in the educational system–aside from all the dough the games bring in) and have some sympathy for the REAL victims in this tragedy–the kids who were repeatedly molested and raped by the sleazy criminal Sandusky. Out with the bad ones! Starting with the nefarious coach. Take this investigation everywhere it needs to go to weed out the culprits!

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