Breaking: Penn State Coach Joe Paterno and President fired by Board of Trustees

In the latest update on the Penn State sex abuse cover-up scandal, the University Board of Trustees has fired both the head coach and the University President for their alleged roles in the cover up. This despite the fact that Coach Paterno tried to avoid being fired by announcing his end of season retirement earlier today. Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Penn State trustees fired football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier (SPAN<-yer) amid the growing furor over how the school handled sex abuse allegations against an assistant coach.The massive shakeup Wednesday night came hours after Paterno announced that he planned to retire at the end of his 46th season. But the outcry following the arrest of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on molestation charges proved too much for the board to ignore.


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  • A Viescas

    I’ll say it before, and I’ll say it again: total scapegoat decision that does nothing to actually help victims. They fired him — by phone call! — rather than let him have even a graceful exit. This was about reputation, not justice.

    I don’t watch football (though I live in Pennsylvania and follow sports in general), but it’s a disgraceful way to treat anyone, and it definitely will harm victims in the long run — an unjust act performed in the name of justice soils that name.

    • Jerrod

      I totally agree with pieces of your comment, such as “disgraceful” and “unjust” but they have nothing to do with the firing of Joe Paterno. You know what harms victims? Letting people who protected their perpetrator have “graceful exits.” Firing those involved does help victims because it sends a message to administrators, coaches, presidents, and those in power on college campuses across the country that their are consequences for harboring, protecting, and ignoring sexual assault and rape.

  • Shannon Drury

    I hope you’re readying a post discussing WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY the students of Penn State would riot, YES RIOT, over the firing of this guy. Because I can’t make sense of it.

    • E. Elizabeth

      I hope so as well. When I read that this morning I sat in my chair in shock. I was especially horrified that the students argued Paterno was an innocent victim of the media. I just thought about all of Sandusky’s victims, and what they must think/feel seeing Penn State students riot in SUPPORT of a man who did nothing to stop their rapist.

      • Sarah

        Agreed – I was talking back quite a lot to my radio this morning, outraged at all the time they spent covering the students reaction and the question of how much this was going to hurt Paterno’s legacy (his firing, mind you, not the fact that he turned a blind eye after making one report), not to mention the time they spent recovering the positive aspects of his legacy and not one single voice providing information about child sexual abuse that would have helped shed even a little much needed perspective on this story – not one. The closest they got on NPR was their sports commentator acknowledging that he had done a very bad thing. I think that this video needs to get more circulation and my biggest question is how do we insist on adding more voices of expertise like this to the mainstream conversation? I would really love to see suggestions for making this happen in a follow-up post on feministing because I think there are a lot of people frustrated with the lack of perspective in many of the stories we’re hearing.

  • Sarah

    Some articles/columns that also deserve some more circulation, I think:,0,837895.column

    And how do we go about an engaging critique of this one:
    A writer whose sentiment is in the right place but doesn’t seem to go far enough. How could a dialogue with that writer help circulate more informationn about grooming dynamics, the vital nature of parent involvement in their kids’ lives, how to communicate to your child that you are opening to hearing misgivings they have even about family friends, teachers or family members, or how parents can help teach their kids that adults do not have to be blindly trusted

    Oh, and this little gem by Aston Kutcher (with his anti-child sex slavery campaigning) is too ridiculous not to be called out: