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. orlop

    Yes the parents (usually only one raising them) of these children might have a little blame but one must understand central Pennsylvania. It is Appalachia, people are poor and when a character like Sandusky takes any interest in their child it looks like an opportunity of a lifetime. That is why these people are victims. Sandusky used his stature, authority (provided by Penn State Football) and good will to take advantage of them.

    July 12, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      Some of the parents did complain but nothing was done. Is it possible that some of the abused kids didn't have parents or guardians looking after them? Wasn't the organization that Sandusky ran for children who didn't have either one or both parents looking after them?

      July 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. GEBIA

    2 years death penalty in Football or 10 year no post season in all sports…
    They have to be made an example of so that something like this NEVER
    HAPPENS AGAIN…What went on up there is the WORST OF THE WORST
    Anything bad said or written about Penn State is DESERVED

    July 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. PSU Alumni and Students for Children's Rights and Dignity

    There are many PSU alumni and students that DO NOT represent the voice of denial and misdirection, but support accountability, responsibility, and change. Unlike Mr. Arrington, they are not being heard by the press. See PSUChildRights.com

    July 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. DoubleEM

    Social media is the worst possible thing for a society. This scandal only affirms my believe in that.

    July 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • jerry rambuttsky

      if this isn't a reason to invoke the death penalty for a program then there is no reason to even have it in the rule book.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      The blame game, now the media? Put the blame where it belongs. It was time for real men to stand up, and do the right thing, but instead they help to destroy of all of what Penn State stood for. How would you feel about going for a job now, and having to put Penn State on your application??

      July 12, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. geraldo

    "social media ablaze" for all the occupy wall street do nothings who have time on their hands

    July 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      And yet you're here.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bean

      Huh? You do realize this comment has nothing to do with the article, right?

      July 12, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |

    This is a disgusting mess, another reminder that the U.S. is screwed up, our culture has reached an warped apex, just look at our kids, our politicians, and the money is everything establishment. Ashamed to be an American today.

    July 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • whomeee

      AMEN. I've been saying this for months. Makes me sick.

      July 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ME

    The days of the big boys hurting our children are over...

    July 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Janice

    Forget about all of the legalities of the situation, how in your right mind do you sleep at night knowing that this behavior is taking place, unless of course, you approve of it? It is absolutely astounding to me that all of these people knew about Sandusky's abusive behavior and did nothing to stop it, allowing more children to be abused over the years. I am curious as to what happened to the mother that reported the abuse back in 1998. Why didn't she take that further than it went? If that were my child, there would be hell raised and everyone would know about it.

    July 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. beelzabarber

    The Catholic Church, Penn State... power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Take'm down a notch

    July 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Just Me

    Yes...of course people are going to support their school..pervs and all! SICKOS ARE EVERYWHERE!! Penn State SUCKS anyway..regardless of their LACK of any morals and regard for these victims! GO HAWKEYES!!

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

      Yep, lets lump and entire student body, faculty (excluding athletic department) and community together even though those people did not know about this. I see they still don't offer much of an education at IOWA

      July 12, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. oscar

    So, does this mean that Mrs. Sandusky is completely innocent! Her motive to not take any action would be not to lose any of those nice work/insurance benefits via Mr. Sandusky and PS. Just keep looking the other way Mrs. Sandusky as you cash the benefit checks. How do you sleep at night knowing you turned the other way while all of this happened under your watch!

    July 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Steve

    A good PS lawyer can bundle football concussion and child abuse into another journey down Denial Bullevarde. Abuse of innocence , abuse of trust and three word slogans of rhetoric.

    July 12, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. subvana

    Now I know what "Pa" in Joe Pa stands for..."Pathetic"

    July 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lisa

    I will always love penn state and penn state football; however, I hate what the top officials including Joe Paterno did to protect their own interests with no regard to protecting children. I do not feel the entire school, students, or student athletes should be held accountable for the actions of these men's ignorance. PSU needs to remove all remembrances of the Joe Paterno era and everything he represented. The statue, the uniforms, the helmet, the shoes all should go. Start fresh, a new era, Then they should donate every damn cent the football program makes to a victim's abuse fund.

    July 12, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Robert Kalifa

    THE NEEDS OF THE MANY...OUT WIEGH THE NEEDS OF THE FEW...this old Star Trek saying made famous by Captain Spock of the Enterprise...is probably what Paterno and the Penn State officials had in mind when they "chose" to ignore the fact that one of their "own" staff members was a child predator...they were "more concerned" about damaging the schools "image" than they were concerned about the plight of Sundusky's young victims...is this just a reflection of how this situation was handled at Penn State...or a reflection of our society itself...

    July 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      Robert, I have been reading all the comments written but I believe yours makes the most sense. I really believe Paterno in his warped mind thought he was doing the right by keeping the university name clean. I believe he really wanted the best for Penn State and its alumni and associates. Unfortunately their behavior is statement about society in general.

      Ohio State Grad

      July 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
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