I was in State College, Pennsylvania last night. I didn’t go anywhere near the rioting, I did much more exciting things like attend a Kindermusik class with my daughter, but I’m sure I would’ve been annoyed if I had seen a bunch of clueless students tipping over a news van in support of a coach who pretty much DID NOTHING after being told young boys were being raped.
But it’s what happened. As Yahoo reports, after Penn State did the right thing by kicking coach Paterno and University President Graham Spanier to the curb in the wake of their handling of horrific sex abuse allegations against a former coach, thousands of angry students flooded the streets of downtown State College to shout stuff, tip over a news fan, and throw rocks at a news photographer.
Officers in riot gear used pepper spray to control the crowd while students chanted “We want Joe! We want Joe!” and kicked in the windows of the overturned van.
Yesterday Paterno announced regret about not having done more after he learned of the sex assault allegations. Here’s what my colleague has to say about that and I completely agree.
“…let’s not forget Paterno, a football coach, actually understands the value of hindsight. In his business, hindsight is known as Monday morning quarterbacking, and it’s generally regarded as meaningless. To wish he had done more implies that Paterno had done something, anything. The truth is, he did nothing.
Paterno was a revered, important and powerful person not only in college football, but at Penn State and in his town. It was in his power to stop Sandusky, to bring him to justice. Joe Pa knows this now and he knew it then. But when a graduate student assistant told him that he had witnessed Sandusky raping a boy in the locker room showers, he didn’t go to the police. He went to the university president. Even after it was clear the president wasn’t going to the police, Paterno sat on that information. He covered it up.”
You can take your crap football and shove it where the sun don’t shine, Coach Paterno. The lives of countless little boys were ruined and you could’ve stepped in and stopped it. I hope getting fired is the first in a string of bad things about to happen to you.
As for the dumb students rioting on Paterno’s behalf: kids can be idiots. Here are just a few quotes from students rioting last night:
“I don’t see what damage could be done by him staying to see the end of the season.”
“I don’t think how they let him go is fair.”
What damage can be done? Yeah, the damage is already done, boy. And fair? Are you serious?
I remember getting all worked up about some cause or the other and walking out of class. Most of the time it wasn’t about the cause, it was about the excitement of actually rioting. I’d like to think that if these kids really stopped and thought about what coach Paterno ignored, they wouldn’t be out in the streets turning over vans on his behalf. As it is, this video makes me sick to my stomach. Students, all worked up over football.
So far no arrests have been reported but State College police say they’ll be addressing the protests later in the day. What are your thoughts about the students rioting?