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. Volunteer

    New mascots for penn state. A couple of guys wearing joe pa and sandusky masks chasing midgets up amd down the sidelines during the game.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mammy

    Pedophile State is more like it. Hang them all and shut the school down!

    July 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Shut the school down? Really?

      July 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. George

    What a load of holier than thou hypocracy. The police investigated and brought no charges. If I am Joe Paterno, I would do the same thing as he did.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • homardy

      Sad statement about you. Paterno and the others did not do what was right from both an ethical and criminal standpoint.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liberatus

      You must be missing something upstairs to admit that.....class act.

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

    jellous idotes? proude of my deploma? Periode? I'd certainly see about receiving a do-over on that DIPLOMA that you can be PROUD of. Yikes.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kathy

    WOW! If you graduated from college and still spell this poorly, you may not want to brag too much about your Penn State education.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. John

    As a proud Penn Stater I must say that the report has completely changed my view of Joe Paterno. Based on the Freeh report, it is clear that the Penn State football program and Joe Paterno were the reasons that the authorities were not notified of the unspeakable crimes committed against those young boys. While this doesn’t mean that Spanier and the others should not be held accountable for their inaction, it certainly that Penn State needs to clean house from the top down. I say take the Paterno statue down. It will never be anything more than a reminder of the terrible dereliction of his moral responsibility to protect those boys.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chitown

    It's amazing to see people still defending Paterno.
    Leaked emails, not all the facts, he didn't know the gravity of the situation, he never directly used email...................or even worse let's move on, not dwell on the past, think about the future. You follks are so twisted up in your college fantasy world you can't see the forest for the trees.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mrs B

    Is it any mystery why it is so hard for victims to come forward? If you can get past the shame of what happened, you know that telling the truth will have implications for everyone involved. Penn State's reputation is tarnished forever. May the victims find peace. May our violent, win-at-all cost culture get back to real sportsmanship. I also feel for the Penn State supporters who had nothing to do with this tragedy.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Journey

    Yet another breakdown in our fundamental values under the Obama Administration. Yet again. :/

    July 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • SF

      This didn't happen during the Obama administration. It happened while W was the prez. What was it you were saying about fundamental values?

      July 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt314hew

      it actually started in 1998 when it was first brought to the attention of the school.. so that was under Bill Clinton, who was busy with Monica.

      July 12, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slomjh2

      This all happened long before Obama took office are you really that stupid to understand that minor fact.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lawrence

      What a stupid and irrelevant comment to make.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liberatus

      You're either lacking the same organ as the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, or you're just trying to bait people. I surely hope it is the latter.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mf33

    WE ARE Ped U

    July 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. wolfeinmaine

    For those of you that do not live in the Midwest, and are surprised that people were, and still are, suporting Penn State, Sandusky, and it's athletic directors, you shouldn't be. Remember Bobby Knight? 6,000 supporters showed up when he was fired for violent behavior. Raping young boys is just another indication of the tolerance, and blind eye, the Midwest has for violence. Axl Rose is a product of the Midwest, the man who cared less that he was instrumental in killing fans at a concert.

    In the Midwest, sports, and most importantly, winning coaches, are their religion and gods. They can do no wrong even when the truth is right before them. We lived in the Midwest when IU finally fired Bobby Knight, and the reaction by the people I knew was apathetic at best, "It's the way he is," "That's just sports," "How do you think he (Knight) had all those wins!"

    My daughter refused her scholarship to Indiana University, because at the time, IU had done nothing against Knight, and I'm proud of her for taking the only stand she could. Penn State is just the tip of the iceberg.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • GetAMap

      Do you know where Penn St. is? You should probably Google it.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObamaTheOaf

      Umm, you are comparing apples to oranges here. Bob Knight used to get fired up about games, he was an intense person. One of the reasons he had so many wins was because of his intensity. So what if he reprimanded one soft kid a little too hard? Being a strict coach and being a pedophile are two completely different things. Covering up for a pedophile is in another ball park.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      You can't possibly compare the actions of Sandusky to Bobby Knight. You're a dork!!

      July 12, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. LouLou

    Were the parents of these abused kids really that clueless? Parents need to be involved with their kids and take notice of their actions!!

    July 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sumnera

      You are joking, right? No one knows what it is like in the shoes of a parent who's child was abused, you won't know, and thus shouldn't judge how they should have reacted. But for the ones to know who was doing this and knew it was happening...they knew, and they should have done something. The parents may not have known.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • D.E. London

      @LouLou, Like most child rapist, pedophiles, abusers, Sandusky chose the most vulnerable little boys he could find. His Second Mile outreach charity was a fishing hole for him. Little boys that were lacking in family structure and at risk were his targeted victims. So asking were the parents clueless is irrelevant. The parents didn't give a damn or were absent from their child's life. That fact is totally unrelated to the actions of the abuser and the officials who aided the abuser.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Concerned

    Quoting twitter and facebook comments from random people is NOT news! Please just the facts CNN!

    July 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dan

    Gotta love the "Mark McGwire" argument someone wrote above – makes no sense to talk about the past because all that matters is the future. Wow. Nice school.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Oscar disabled vet

    The victims lawyers will ask that the program be shut down but it will not how else will they be able to pay the innocent victims pain an suffering .but they will lose out on publicity and endorsements and just about anything with Penn states name on it will be tabu!

    July 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
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