“I think the point people are trying to make is the media is responsible for Joe Pa going down,” said a freshman, Mike Clark, 18, adding that he believed that Mr. Paterno had met his legal and moral responsibilities by telling university authorities about an accusation that Mr. Sandusky assaulted a boy in a university shower in 2002.
“We got rowdy, and we got maced,” Jeff Heim, 19, said rubbing his red, teary eyes. “But make no mistake, the board started this riot by firing our coach. They tarnished a legend.”
Four girls in heels danced on the roof of a parked sport utility vehicle and dented it when they fell after a group of men shook the vehicle. A few, like Justin Muir, 20, a junior studying hotel and restaurant management, threw rolls of toilet paper into the trees.
“It’s not fair,“ Mr. Muir said hurling a white ribbon. “The board is an embarrassment to our school and a disservice to the student population.”
Some students noted the irony that they had come out to oppose what they saw as a disgraceful end to Mr. Paterno’s distinguished career as a football coach, and then added to the ignobility of the episode by starting an unruly protest.
Greg Becker, 19, a freshman studying computer science, said he felt he had to vent his feelings anyway.
“This definitely looks bad for our school,” he said sprinting away from a cloud of pepper spray. “I’m sure Joe Pa wouldn’t want this, but this is just an uproar now, we’re finding a way to express our anger.”
Paul Howard, 24, an aerospace engineering student, jeered the police.
“Of course we’re going to riot,” he said. “What do they expect when they tell us at 10 o’clock that they fired our football coach?”
Penn State Students Clash With Police in Unrest After Announcement (New York Times)
Thursday, November 10, 2011
By Michael Leddy at 7:55 AM