July 12th, 2012
12:18 PM ET

Reactions to Penn State report flood social media

Penn State University bashers and supporters alike took to Twitter and Facebook on Thursday when the report on an internal probe into the school's child sex abuse scandal was released.

Lavar Arrington, a former Penn State player, responded on Twitter after reading the report.

[tweet https://twitter.com/LaVarArrington/status/223431780919820288%5D

The probe found that top university officials, including former President Graham Spanier and then-head football coach Joe Paterno, concealed child sex abuse by ex-assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky  and showed a "total and consistent disregard" for his victims. The concealment was meant to "avoid the consequences of bad publicity," the report said.

Penn State leaders disregarded victims, 'empowered' Sandusky, review finds

The probe's leader, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, said that ex-athletic director Tim Curley consulted with Paterno following allegations against Sandusky and "they changed the plan and decided not to make a report to the authorities."

Key players in the Penn State report

This, the report found, resulted in a failure to protect Sandusky's victims or warn the public about his behavior.

How the Sandusky case unraveled

Heated conversations immediately began on Penn State's Facebook page.

"The only important part of that report are the recommendations for the FUTURE! We need to all take a lesson from this, learn from some mistakes and use the recommendations to move on to make PSU a stronger place. It makes no sense discussing what happened in the past and what emails were sent. Complaining about the past does not make for a strong future!" Joey Schwartz wrote.

Controversy has swirled around how much Paterno knew concerning Sandusky's abuse, and given the report's findings, was a popular thread for commenters.

"You are all giving a bad name to the school and current students like myself. Time to swallow your pride and recognize that JoePa made very grave mistakes, and even he probably didn't understand the gravity of them at the time. This is undeniable proof that not only did he fail to act, but he influenced the decisions to report Sandusky to the authorities," Sean McFarlane posted.

"It's not a complete, unbiased report. Period," Bettina Kline wrote.

"This is not an idictment of Penn State students and Alum or even most of the people who work there. This is an idictment of its leadership and administration. Penn State students and Alums can keep their heads held high if you do the right thing and that is stop worshiping a man and althletic program that failed to protect innocent children. If you can do that then you have nothing to be ashamed of," Mike Carlson posted.

"If my degree was from Penn State, I would sue to get my tuition back," Jonathan Hubbard wrote.

"I'm so shocked (not) that Penn State throws a man who is not here to defend himself under the bus. I find it very convenient that the ones trying to avoid damning themselves blame the one who is dead. Why didn't anyone do anything? The truth will never be known. The whole thing is sick," Rhonda Head said, referring to Paterno's death in January.

"Launching a private investigation, spending 10 million plus on lawyers and PR... Why not just admit mistakes were made and move on. Use that money towards our education please" Alex Pawelski shared.

Darren Rovell, a sports business reporter, was one of many taking to Twitter with an immediate reaction.

[tweet https://twitter.com/darrenrovell/status/223404083560726528%5D

He also shared this update later:

[tweet https://twitter.com/darrenrovell/status/223460937502425089%5D

Former Ohio State and New York Giants football player Jason Winrow tweeted this in response.

[tweet https://twitter.com/JasonWinrow68/status/223428074929258496%5D

Charles Robinson, senior investigative reporter for Yahoo! Sports, speculated on Penn State's future given the findings.

[tweet https://twitter.com/CharlesRobinson/status/223413752689725440%5D

ESPN Radio host John Kincade responded to the late Paterno's previous statement that this was not a "football scandal."

[tweet https://twitter.com/JohnKincade/status/223408563031248897%5D

Aaron Nagler, NFL blogger for Bleacher Report, responded to those who initially defended Paterno.

[tweet https://twitter.com/Aaron_Nagler/status/223408529338400768%5D

Clay Travis, author of "Dixieland Delight" and "On Rocky Top," singled out what he found to be the worst truth of the report.

[tweet https://twitter.com/ClayTravisBGID/status/223407837001428992%5D

A Miami Heat reporter, Rizzmiggizz, responded to other people's calls for Penn State's program to be shut down.

[tweet https://twitter.com/Rizzmiggizz/status/223414125521416192%5D

Penn State supporters also took to Twitter using the hashtag #WEARE, standing up for their university before and after the report was released. Many reactions were ambivalent, showing either disappointment in the report or their school, but most were looking forward to moving past the scandal.

[tweet https://twitter.com/bradyluu/status/223411273709273089%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/dennismcnamara/status/223399368567435264%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/ovoxo_Chantelle/status/223421463846326274%5D

[tweet https://twitter.com/Devon2012/status/223427124659372032%5D

TheSchoolPhilly, a social media site covering Penn State, showed a lack of enthusiasm for the supportive tweets, and offered this instead: [tweet https://twitter.com/TheSchoolPhilly/status/223410126378369024%5D

Here's more of our coverage:

Key passages from Penn State report

Penn State community still admires Paterno

What do you think about the report and its findings? Let us know in the comments below and sound off on CNN iReport.

soundoff (270 Responses)
  1. Jeff Miller

    Can we all agree the students and graduates of Penn State do not deserve this dishonor. Nor do those employees and Professors who were unaware. They are also victims of Sandusky and should not be insulted or villified either. Let's not use this as an excuse to hurt the already hurting innocent.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. B7C

    And this is what happens when we as people annoint other people as living gods and saints on earth. I admired Joe Paterno's football mind but when there is a preponderance of evidence well then it's time to use common sense. Even still there are many who will refuse to see him in an ungodly state. Although society today hates to use the word shame there is still shame it does exist. Sorry I did not mean for this to turn into a sermon but we have to stop making others into something they cannot possible be. We all have choices and we don't have to fall into traps....people cannot annoint themselvs they need help, yours and mine. Don't buy into anyone's undeserved holier than thou hype, enough already.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. WachetAuf

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. Our entire culture, none excepted, is engaged in DENIAL, DECEPTION and COVERUP. Human beings are born with these instinctive, impulsive, primitive behaviors. Our particular culture, in fact, celebrates it.

    Want to deny it? You probably never read the newspapers, watch TV or go to church. You never engage in private, confidential business meetings. You probably never join your BFF's for social events. You are probably a loner which, by itself, may be evidence of your narcissism. You are probably also not aware of the existence of your second observing mind which monitors your own thoughts. You are probably too emotionally charged with many unresolved issues to have ever realized there is one other way to engage life.

    We do not, not even in our churches, insist on and value moral and ethical conduct. We value winning sports teams. We value politicians who tell us what we wish to hear. We value money, profits and property. We value control of others. We value OBEDIENCE and because of it are slaves to people in positions of authority. We value our asses. And, we know that if we speak out someone in a position of authority will cut our balls off.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. A U fan

    I think they might all be Lesbeans. That or gay.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bezerkur

    Whats done is done get over it. Sandusky will never see the light of day. If we knew a 10th of all the scandals that has happened everywhere past and present we might as well tear everything down and go back to living in caves. All this is doing now is hurting a community further and causing mass panic. The Teens will be compensated and live their lives debt free. The rest that were involved in the cover up will lose everything. And their families will suffer along with them. I was molested and didnt get a dime or a whole nation crying over me and there a a million others like me. I have a family and work my a$$ off to provide for them. All this media witch-hunt has done for me is bring up my past that I have already accepted and buried. Dwelling about this isnt going to change anything. Move on.

    July 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cuervo Jones

      your a fool if you just let yourself be used. you didn't say anything because you were ashamed. i tried therapy, drinking, "letting it go." Revenge is the best. just like PSU. boo hoo we sorry, lets just move on, nothing to see here. nah

      July 13, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      It's not just going to go away, no matter how much you want it to. And the fact that it happens elsewhere is a meaningless attempt to divert attention and a massive insult to the victims.

      July 14, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • say what?

      But it will help others. Yes, when this is finished and the all of the truth is out, people can move on. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this tragedy. I am glad you have been able to move forward but there are still others who need to go through the process. Don't shut them down.

      July 16, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. HIDE BEHIND

    The punisment; the punishment; where is the punishment?
    Shame is a punishment that should be reserved by and for the correction of children, but by and of itself it is not punishment but a reprimand that is more closely connected to family and ones peers and not society at large.
    Why do people feel so strongly when a policeman. breaks the laws or abuses his power?
    Can it be that the crimes commited while. they may be bad enough by laws written but hat he has broken an unmritten law far more powerfull in effect, that of breaking a "Trust"?

    July 12, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DC

    Yes it is worse then tragic, betraying a trust, sitting back while it happened but ever wonder how many DIDN'T come forward due to shame or guilt? As for the statue, kind of mixed on that. Yes JoePa did nothing but that doesn't change what he accomplished or rather...what his players accomplished. So yes I can see the statue coming down but then you make the players pay for their coaches mistakes. No easy way around this one.

    July 13, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Uncle Milty

      What his players accomplished? They were just football players weren't they or am I mistaken? Did some of them find a cure for cancer or something that I didn't know about? What is the ratio of football player to academic statues on campus. That will tell you all you need to know.

      July 14, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • say what?

      It starts with JoPa and could have ended with him. Take it down.

      July 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. hnm3246

    What gets me the most is that the abuse was covered up to protect Penn State's reputation and that of its staff. They really side-stepped that landmine, didn't they?

    July 13, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. clarke

    Shame on them, all of them.

    July 13, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dott

    Good – something else to write about so CNN can now leave poor Zimmerman alone.

    July 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. tjg

    To all those who want to put this scandal behind us, then move on and do better in the future.....you probably wouldn't feel that way if it was your son.....or grandson.....or your daughter.....or granddaughter.......or your little sister or little brother..... You need to feel the absolute outrage before you can understand how to do better and NEVER let this happen again. Not everyone is thoroughly nauseated by this.

    July 13, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Califan

    As a Penn State fan, I can say that I am shocked and appalled at the recent findings of the report by Mr. Freeh, for whom I have the utmost respect. My heart goes out to all the victims of Jerry Sandusky. I cannot imagine what they are going through. However, the college itself should not suffer. There are many students who graduated from this university who have distinguished themselves in both the public and private sector. And the future students, even football players, should still be given an opportunity to get a quality college education, even if they must use their athletic ability to help accomplish their goals. We are....Penn State....

    July 15, 2012 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • say what?

      You are..........Ped State. There have been other colleges who have suspended their seasons due to infractions for lesser charges. Yes, the school should be punished to send a message. Suck it up. If you don't like it, leave the school.

      July 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tempus Fugit

    The wife knew, too. She knew all along.

    July 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kathy Gillette

    I am stunned, not only at the horrendous events that happened at Penn State, but at the continuing idolization of Joe Paterno – a man, who as far as I am concerned, is a child molester enabler. How could he sit back and let that happen? And I realize his family is going to support their husband / father, but give me a break. Do they really think his inaction was acceptable. What if this happened to one of their children? It's equally shocking that all that Penn State has done is to take the halo off his mural. How ridiculous that they put up a blue ribbon to symbolize protecting children against child abuse. This man did nothing to protect these innocent children. Shame on the Paternos (all of them) and Penn State. I don't live in Pennsylvania, but if I did, I would be outraged that the Paterno family is receiving $5 million. Where are your values Penn State?

    July 15, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TexanBogota

    The mistake that Penn State made was keeping Joe Paterno as a coach into his 80's. Even when he had loosing seasons they kept him because he was an icon. He was very old and very old people don't think very well. I know as a clinical psychologist that IQ drops very quickly after age 65 and that the average 85 year old person has the fluid reasoning ability of a 4 year old. He was an old and confused man who couldn't accept that his friend of 30 years was a pedophile. He should have stepped down and the university should have made him step down, but he was good for marketing. College football is a billion dollar industry and the marketing and business people allowed him to continue far past his prime.

    July 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
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