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. BCW - NYC

    I wonder how many more victims out there are enraged by this report. It is so sad that Penn State put their name first and allow that monster to continue victumizing children in the name of football. Shame on you Penn State.

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

      I am sick of people saying shame on Penn State. Shame on the few morally bankrupt individuals involved, not the entire university.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike from CT

    "The most powerful men ... failed to take and steps .. to protect children"

    This includes you to Louis Freeh, don't claim what other people didn't do, when your whole department dropped the ball the first time.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • M Thompson

      Louis Freeh didn't work for any "department". He was hired to do an independent investigation.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Smeagel4T

    It's just typical for modern day US "ethics" and "morality". Winning and making money is everything. Ethics and morality are simply undesirable obstacles to that goal. It’s the same mentality that drives the big players on Wall Street.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. David Dollens M.D.

    This whole Penn State issue should be a statement to all universities, that no matter how much money a school chooses to pay a coach, or how much power it chooses to let him (or her) yield, they should be held fully accountable for their actions or inaction, on or off the playing field. Schools and powerful administrators and coaches are responsible, as are the boards of trustees that give them power and money.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. f1fan61

    shut the whole stinking place down.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Roger

    Hmmm, it also seems like Coach Paterno thought he was God. Apparently he made all the calls. Well, he's answering for his part in this heartbreaking tragedy now. What is that old saying..."if you know something bad is happening and you do nothing to stop it, you're just as guilty as the other person".

    July 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DC Observer

    I think I will believe and go with Joe Paterno's " Death Bed" letter -- I am not going to through any mud on Paterno unless a few people step up and show hard core evidence that he did something wrong

    July 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • CLE fan

      DC Observer:

      "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

      July 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jobruce2

      Doesn't matter what you think

      July 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      Ignorance is no excuse. You are as bad as Paterno himself.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. CLE fan

    Paterno said this was not a "football scandal." Baloney. The entire coverup was about protecting their precious football program. Death penalty for PSU football.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ghost


    July 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joe

    Fire everyone involved and prosecute them as accomplices. Then, shut down the Penn State football program so that the "football above all else" mentality can be washed away. Nothing less is acceptable.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • anniezannie

      I totally agree with Joe. Such incompetent leadership is just unbelievable! Their football program is obviously "above the law" or even common decency. Why would anyone want to go to school there unless they play football. Use the football program funds to compensate its victims. Hopefully, all the lawsuits will shut down the school completely and serve as an example to other schools with football mentalities.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. pamik

    Unlike alot of Penn State fans, I DO NOT think Joe Paterno was God walking on earth. He was a man who was proud of his football team, college program, and Penn State way of life. Unfortunately, he thought more of those things than he did in speaking the truth. I'm sure JoPa wanted to cover up anything that tarnished his or "his" college's reputation. How sad this man had so many opportunities to tell the truth about Mr. Sandusky but chose to keep quiet because it wasn't "an academic problem or a football problem". Mr. Sandusky's actions were/are truly disgusting but Mr. Paterno's are just as bad. How many children could have been protected had he not decided to keep things close to the vest and let Mr. Sandusky slow slink away?

    July 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jenny

    good for NIKE glad they are saving face...now for PS to remove the statue, remove his name from every building, tear down the locker/showers, fire his son as coach, remove his and sanduskys wives and family from the town and then award the victims 100 million EACH. that would be a place to start......

    July 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ramses

      Let the name of Paterno be stricken from every book and tablet, stricken from all pylons and obelisks, stricken from every monument of Penn State, let the name of Paterno be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of man, for all time.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. IAM4WV

    Take dosn the Statue and Destroy It! Take back Millions of Dollars given to Paterno Family of yis retirement fund and distribute to the Victims!!!

    July 12, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. IAM4WV

    Take down the Statue and Destroy It!
    Take back Millions of Dollars given to Paterno Family of his retirement fund and distribute to the Victims!!!

    July 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Roger

    Ahhh, the wife! The front for Sandusky, Another enabler to help this monster prey on young boys. Ever wonder why they adopted children instead of having their own????

    July 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
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