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. Bob

    Here is the answer, hit them where it hurts. All proceeds from the PSU football program go to Child Abuse Awareness for the next 10 years.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. steve

    this is just like the church. abusing boys and being hidden by the people in charge.
    "Penn state" should now be called " molest state"

    July 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John

    People at Penn state need to stop acting so stupid. Obviously reality was that there was no football program, it was just a child molesting empire, much like the Catholic church. Joe Pa–just like the pope covered it all up, and people treated him like he lobed them personally which is really bizarre considering that he was a football coach. People are acting so crazy about this that I have concluded that Penn state must be in a majority Catholic area where people are born and raised to act like idiots in a molestation scandal.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Maria Gtz

    Everyone who knew about the crime and covered it up or did nothing about it is just as guilty as that pig Sandusky. He should not be the only one going to jail, the others belong in there too.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Susan Rogers

    Can't help but wish "JoePa" were here to face the humiliation! Rot in Hell, JoePa. And yes, that statue has to come down!

    July 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maria Gtz

      Indeed! Since Paterno escaped justice, the least they can do for the victims and their families is to take down the statue of the man who knew about it, and CHOSE NOT do the right thing. That statue is a painful reminder of betrayal, a true insult. One wonders how these pigs have been able to sleep at night for so long...how they would feel if someone like them did the same to their own kids and grandkids...beyond disgusting.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. blayzekohime

    Penn state's actions (or lack thereof) were inexcusable, yes. However, why do people react so much more strongly to them than they seemed to at the Catholic Church, who has had literally hundreds of this exact same type of scandal without any of their leadership seeming to suffer for their inaction?

    July 12, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. truthBtold

    That poor guy as you put it "joe pa", if he would have had any balls he wouldve said something and couldve prevented many young boys from.being scarred for life.......

    July 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. S-Hug

    Three words: "DUMB OLD JOCKS." This is what happens when the collegiate spotlight is continually shone on athletics instead of academics.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Walrus Mustache

    Fire all the senior staff at Penn State. Big jobs and big salaries is what they are trying to protect but the public demands action. They knew it, then they blew it.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. June

    This type of cover-up happens in homes all the time and the same rules apply – keep it a secret. Never tell. That this has happened in the Penn State football scene only brings it to light on a more public level. In my humble opinion, it is just one more indication of the results of kicking God out of our country and thus eradicating our moral compass. We have overall nothing to bring about righteous indignation, not to go out and commit murder, but to begin to return to the Lord in repentance as a nation and begin to do what is right for our children, our families and our nation – before God.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Richard

    For those who think Paterno was a fall guy, note that he tried to pass the buck back to those who he reported the scandal to.

    Any of them, from Penn State officials to Paterno and yes, even the assistant coaches and janitors could have and should have just gone to the police.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Johana

    All of my Nike apparel is going into the garbage TODAY....NIKE RENAME THE JOE PATERNO CHILD CENTER...allowing the words PATERNO and child center to exist together is vile and disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • astrickland

      Hi Johana, thanks for commenting. Nike released a statement that they'll be removing his name from the center.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Walrus Mustache

    I would like to see a 10 year moritorium on all athletics at Penn State. Fire the President of the University and everyone inbetween him and the athletic department. On-line learning is better than brick and mortar school and it comes at a fraction of the price.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • muffer

      disagree about online learning. it's another nail in the coffin of people INTERACTING together and looking at each other. But do agree about Penn State athletics. Too often things get thrown under the bus because of the money that the athletic program brings in. shame on all you alums that have contributed to making money more important than education.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Babs

      Walrus,
      If you knew anything about the scandal you would know that the university president and all of those mentioned in the report have been removed from the univeristy since November. Spanier, Curley and Schultz have yet to appear in court because the legal system takes so long to do anything.
      You simply cannot blame all athletics at Penn State for what has happened. In fact throughout all of this the athletic department didn't break any NCAA rules. The NCAA is not law enforcement and the current students and coaches have nothing to do with this matter.
      Yes, Paterno could have and should have done more, but there are many others, including other assitant coaches that saw Sandusky in the locker rooms/showers with Second Mile children; in fact in the report it is stated that seeing this was not uncommon. It is obvious that Sandusky was a master manipulator, knew how to hide things and preyed on children he knew would be too scared to do anything and he does very much deserve to rot in hell.

      July 13, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. Oscar Pitchfork

    Ever notice how, WITHIN 5 MINUTES of a really bad deed being discovered, the guilty party ALWAYS wants to "move on" and get that bright spotlight off of themselves. EVERYONE involved in this should get prison time for their 'not wanting bad publicity" or looking bad'. Well, when you ARE BAD, you should LOOK BAD!

    July 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Walrus Mustache

    I would like to see a 10 year moritorium on all athletics at Penn State. Fire the University President and everyone inbeweet him and the athletics department. Time for these overpaid administrators to go. they did not do their jobs.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
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