Things got ugly at Penn State last night. Just moments after the school’s Board of Trustees announced that head football coach Joe Paterno and school president Graham Spanier had been fired, riots erupted around the campus.
At around 12:20 a.m. EST Thursday, Penn State issued an official police dispersal order via Facebook, warning students to vacate downtown State College immediately. It came after several violent scenes in which protesters flipped over a news van and destroyed property.
About 2,000 people gathered at Old Main and moved to an area called Beaver Canyon.
The disruption escalated after the school’s Board of Trustees held an emergency meeting last night and later announced that they had dismissed Paterno, the longest-tenured coach in major-college football, and Spanier, the school’s president for the past 16 years.
Both were ousted by a Board of Trustees fed up with the backlash being felt from a child sex-abuse scandal involving Paterno’s former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky.
Sandusky is accused of sexually abusing eight boys through the charity he founded for at-risk youth.
Athletic Director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, vice president for finance and business, have also been charged with perjury in connection with the the case. They have both maintained their innocence.
It’s a shame it had to end this way for Paterno, but it seems like the school gave him the chance to resign right away. Instead, he chose to announce that he would retire at the end of this season. Unfortunately, in a case as heinous as this, that’s just not good enough.
Check out footage from the riots above and below.
- The Firing of Joe Paterno: Why The Penn State Unrest Was Senseless (newsfeed.time.com)
- Joe Paterno Fired By Penn State Board Of Trustees (thesource.com)
- Joe Paterno Firing: Penn State Board of Trustees Should Be Ashamed (bleacherreport.com)
- Does The Penn State Scandal Alter Paterno’s Legacy? (npr.org)