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.”

Comments (40)
  1. Crazy! says:

    Joe Paterno did NOT deserve to go out this way.

    1. denzoe says:

      Sure he did. It was his MORAL responsibility to follow-up on his report to the administration once he saw that nothing was being done. Anyone who had any knowledge of this should be given the boot immediately. And the worse is McQueary who witnessed one of the rapes….the coward did nothing to stop it other than to call daddy. What a piece of garbage.

      1. Davud says:

        and McQueary still has his job

      2. Baltimoran's go home says:

        Define MORAL responsibility? How many times a day do you stop your car and help out a homeless person? Isn’t this a MORAL responisibility we all are obligated to fulfill?

        Sandusky is the monster and Paterno is just Penn State’s fall guy. He took the hit for the ADMINISTRATORS who choose not to report the ALLEGATION.

        Don’t you think after 8 investigators worked 2 years on this case if Paterno was even remotly invovled he would have been charged?

        You’re nothing more than an ignorant vigliante

      3. Sweet says:

        Did you mean “Baltimoron”? that is a lovely irony. LOL!

  2. Stupidity Rules says:

    They used Joe as a scapegoat. When he followed procedure and reported the incident to his superiors, they did nothing.

    1. carol says:

      Exactly. He’s totally taking the fall for his superiors dropping the ball. The only thing he should have done was go to the police when nothing was done.

    2. Jack Pollack says:

      When Joe saw that nothing had been done, he should have taken it up the ladder himself. I’m afraid this great college coach is not of the hightest moral standards. Sandusky was a friend and that’s why Joe simply let it go…sinply let it go. He sounds very pious now about this poor lad, but he did not do his duty at the time. He worried more about Sandusky.

  3. Stupidity Rules says:

    Penn State tuition just went up to cover the lawsuits which will be filed. Here come the roaches out of the woodwork.

  4. mike says:

    I wonder why the Grad Student didn’t try to intervene and protect the 10 year old? I mean, if you saw a kid getting raped, wouldn’t you try and help out and prevent it from being more horrific than it already was?

  5. Jeff says:

    You can’t act as if Joe telling his superiors was enough. Even though Joe was under them, he carried more power than all of them and everyone knows that. Everyone from the graduate assistant on up bares the burden here. This guy had an office there and had access to the facilities and players for 9 more years. Joe Pa saw this guy for 9 more years after this happened, knowing that he had raped a 10 year old in the locker room showers. Knowing that it was never reported to the authorities. How could you even let this person step into your facility again after that. Don’t pretend that passing the buck washes your hands of having to do anything.

    1. What About Mike McQueary says:

      I agree that the graduate assistant bares the burden; however, I have not heard about him being penalized. He actually saw this going on first hand, anyone else it is merely hearsay. How he is not responsible just as they are? I have just heard so much about Paterno and the Penn State President. There are alot more people at fault here.

      1. david says:

        i agree with you Mike McQuearny knew about it he witness it and Penn State has not penalized him the chief of poilce for Penn State knew about it and did nothing about it he still has his job Penn State athletic director knew about it and lied to the police and still has his job they just gave him a leave yes it is a sad story sad thing to happen it shouldnt of have happen in the first place but to me it seems like there pinpointing Joe Paterno they even admited that they didnt know how much he knew so why get rid of him joe Paterno reported it penn state did nothing

  6. Get out says:

    Sure let’s just protect coach Joe. He only allowed a child molestor to abuse children. But that’s ok as long as Penn wins the game. His statue should be removed and sold with the profit going to all those kids that were sexual abused. He knew more than what he’s saying and when it’s all said and done all you fans will see he’s no better than Sandusky.

  7. Sad About Pa says:

    Wow! If these students are so willing to fight for Paterno now, how ’bout ten years from now they send their sons to his house to hang out with him and Sandusky? Would they be protesting about his firing if it had been their little brother that was raped and knowing that Paterno knew about it but didn’t do ALL that he should have to make sure it never happened again? To those who feel like he did everything he should have, how can you say that when more children were raped because Paterno wanted to keep winning football games with Sandusky helping him to do just that? It’s really sick when students care more about sports records than moral, ethical, HUMAN responsibilities.

  8. What About Mike McQueary says:

    I do not uderstand how Paterno lost his job; however, the person who actually witnessed the crime is still working. He should be held liable also. He actually witnessed this event and continued to work there.He did not make sure the police were called. He did what Paterno did, told someone else and believed they would handle it.

    I’m just sorry for the victims. Such a said situation. I pray they are able to overcome.

    1. david says:

      i agree McQueary needs to lose his job to he witness it and did nothing to stop it

  9. Survivor says:

    I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and I am honestly not sure how I feel about Joe Paterno’s culpability here. He DID report it and he trusted that his superiors would handle it. Maybe he did follow-up with his superiors and maybe he was told it was being handled properly. Joe Praterno hasn’t been allowed to speak out, but now that he’s been fired, maybe we will know more about what he knew and did or didn’t do. I think everyone is finding him guilty a little too soon.

    This hiding of the truth happens more than you think, and not just by the Catholic church or colleges, etc. My own mother ignored it when she was told that my brother was sexually abusing me. She let it continue for years and did NOTHING.

    My heart goes out to the kids who have been abused. They will have years of struggle ahead of them. I want them to know that it was NEVER your fault and you can overcome the damage that has been done. I’ve been there and I have come through the otherside.

    Lets stop playing the blame game and make sure the victims are being taken care of and given every opportunity to heal .

    1. Another Survivor's Perspective says:

      As a survivor, myself, I respectfully disagree. If someone knew what my abuser was doing and didn’t jump through hoops to stop it, I have to say I would feel victimized by that person, as well. He not only didn’t jump through hoops, he continued to work side by side with him without vomiting. Bottom line, his job and his team were too important to take a chance on saving children from being abused and then suffering a lifetime of memories that, for even the most well-adjusted survivors, never go away.

      You don’t “come out the other side” with a clear slate. You adjust, you cope and you make the good parts of your life the ones upon which you focus. I am joyously happy in my life, but I still wake up from horrible nightmares that echo the abuse every now and then. Paterno is culpable. He is a coward who brushed this aside to maintain his pride in his school, now scarred far more deeply than it would have been had they ALL done the right thing to begin with.

  10. JQP says:

     ” ‘Penn State has always strived for honesty, integrity and the highest moral standards in all of our activities. We promise you that we are committed to restoring public trust to our university,’ said John Surma, vice chair, board of trustees.”

    To those who may be confounded by Mr. Paterno’s release, the statement above is clear. A man’s character is not defined by his ability to follow the rules alone, it is defined by his decision to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to do the right thing. He went to the door, knocked and then left…didn’t bother to follow up, didn’t take the time to consider the torture those children we’re enduring at Sandusky’s hands, he didn’t protect children he knew were suffering when he could have stopped it.

    And during this riot…where was he? Why was he not on TV/radio or standing on a block shouting “This is not a good solution, kids, this is not serving you or me and I want you to go home.”… why didn’t he try to stop this riot? He’s a great coach….and a coward.

  11. HA HA HA says:

    I’am just glad to see w hit people rioting

  12. Scott SC says:

    The United States is a morally bankrupt society. Just imagine: Riots over a coache’s firing, but not one word of sympathy for the alleged victims. This country is just so anti-victim and pro-perpetrator. Just look at OJ Simpson in his trial. Victims of crimes just stand no chance.

    1. Survivor says:

      Well said, Scott. I couldn’t agree more.

  13. chris says:

    make me a**hole you ain’t nobod loser oh wait i thought your name was sheriff willie joe name is just sheriff f**king loser

  14. chris says:

    Hey wannabe Sheriff oh wait i thought your name was willie joe sheriff now your useing just sheriff proves my point you post under different names all the time a**hole you arent nobody your a loser so i’m not going to shut up if you dont like it make me or get a life and stop posting on wjz

  15. chris says:

    hey sheriff i prove my point you aren’t nobody now your useing the name sheriff againi thought it was and if you want me to shut uo make me f**king wannabe sheriff LOSER hey fun living at home with mommy and daddy dead beat

  16. chris says:

    lol sheriff is a nobody loser

    1. moleman says:

      Chris is a sissy. Boo hoo wah wah. Was that your daddy Paterno the little fruitcake?

  17. david says:

    @Sheriff i agree with chris you are a loser you aren’t no Sheriff lol get a life

  18. chris says:

    lol sheriff your words don’t hurt my feelings or scared me you can’t make me shut up so I don’t think i will loser

  19. chris says:

    lol sheriff your words don’t hurt my feelings or scared me loser

  20. chris says:

    sheriff must be using the name moleman it sounds like him

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