STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WJZ)— An explosive 24 hours on the campus of Penn State University. A child sex assault scandal brings down legendary football coach Joe Paterno.
Jessica Kartalija continues to follow this story.
Students and alumni on the York campus tell WJZ they hope that Penn State will be able to recover from this– what many are calling the biggest tragedy in college sports history.
Fitting weather on an already depressing day on the York campus as the Penn State community reacts to the sudden firing of Paterno.
“I think that that’s not how it should have ended his career as the head coach,” student Dalton Shriver said. “I believe that even though this situation did occur, they should have at least allowed him to finish out this season and end with some dignity.”
After images of rioting on Penn State’s main campus, students tell WJZ they are outraged.
“I think it’s crazy,” student Megan Schmidtz said. “I think the students and the reaction to the whole situation is really immature.”
Many students on the Penn State York campus didn’t want to go on camera. They say they’re very saddened by this situation and say unfortunately, it’s a very poor reflection of Penn State as a whole.
Others are angry the focus is on Paterno and former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, and not on the victims.
“It’s more than a football program or a coach,” T.J. Bard, Penn State student body president, said. “This is about the victims and about finding justice for them at the end of the day.”
Former Penn State All-American linebacker Lavar Arrington said he’s devastated by the sex abuse scandal.
“There’s not a day that goes by when I don’t think about my time at Penn State,” he said. “So, for me to have this is almost like hitting a wall at 90 miles per hour.”
WJZ received an e-mail from Penn State Interim President Rodney Erickson calling this a terrible tragedy and saying “they’re doing everything possible to rebuild trust and confidence in the university.”