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. EVN

    The culture that permitted this to happen and get buried at Penn State is alive in oh so many other places that it is both pathetic and truly frightenign at the same time. One can only hope that this expose of what a culture of protectioniism at any cost can lead do helps end the conditions for such a culture to thrive, but I sincerely doubt it is going to and there will be a whole lot more sweeping stuff under the rug and nothing changing when caught. Look at the Catholic Church and pedophile prients. Look at Enron, pior bank corruption, and now the Libor scam. Why delude yourself into thinking that there will be any real change – none of the administrators are going to see any time, just as next to no one was, or is going to be seeing jail for the financial scandals that highlight the corruptness of Wall Street and the financial industry, and the ineptness of regulators.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. smokinbluebear


    July 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Andrew Race PSU alumni

    I am still a proud PSU alumni and Joe Paterno supporter. These actions were horrendous, no doubt about it. What about all of the good things joe paterno has done? The avid support agaisnt pediatric cancer and the academic skills he instilled and demanded from his football program. PSU FOREVER!! let SANDUSKY who is and was a MASTER DECIEVER take the blame for this, NOT PENN STATE NOT JOE PATERNO WHO DID WHAT HE THOUGHT WAS RIGHT AND ADMITTED HIS MISTAKE I WOULD LOVE TO MAKE THIS STATEMENT IN FRONT OF THE ENTIRE PSU COMMUNITY

    July 12, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • joebob

      i dont care if he found the cure to cancer...that all gets erased when you start covering up such terrible acts such as this.

      way to support a pedo enabler

      July 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liberatus

      Please list all of the good things that Joe has done that you feel offset this disgusting coverup. And all of his claims of graduating players, etc-I have serious doubts he ran a clean program.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Robert

    People are calling for the death penalty for the Penn State football program? I just don't understand that at all. There has been nothing said at all about students and players knowing anything about this scandal. Moreover, if they had I'm sure the story would have leaked out 10 years ago. So far there has only been five people associated with Penn State that have been said to know about this, and they were all university employees. Moreover, there were no recruiting violations, so penalize the players, all of whom had nothing to do with this scandal would be unjust. I would think a far better approach would be to remove the offending officials and then let the program move on.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liberatus

      Stay tuned, Robert. If Joe was able to control the top adminstrators at Penn State, you know he also controlled the teaching staff, local police, etc....anyone who could benefit from his connections and his ability to raise money.
      ZERO credibility for the Penn State program now–despite their claims of running an honest program.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Missy

      Death Penalties are never about the students or players... it is always about the people who run the program.

      Go ask SMU.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whatever

      Then the STAFF at PENN State SUCK!!

      July 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Liberatus

    Did anyone see Joe's son on TV this morning, still trying to say that they ran a great program, graduated their players, etc? How ridiciulous. If Joe had that much control over the top administration, you also haved to believe he manipulated teachers into "graduating" his players. The claims that Joe ran an ethical, upstanding program now carry zero credibility. Why do people like him–in the corporate world, too–feel like it is okay to thumb your nose at the rules and regulations of the governing body, and keep indescretions "in-house", making up your own rules?

    July 12, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. PaulC

    A test book case of the unnatural worship of the sports industry.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ed

    Freeh is probably correct, but anyone familiar with his egregious errors at the FBI would agree that HE, himself, should be investigated and vilified.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Patrick

    Money, money, money, that's what behind the cover up.... but wait, it is going to get better now that gays and lesbians are all in the open..... watch out for your kids... I wonder if the liberal lawyers "assisting the gays and lesbians' coming out of the closet will send their kids to a day care center run by gays ans lesbians....

    July 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • cdgfla

      W T F does your post have to do with Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno, a cover up, or pedophilia? Honestly, are you right wing christian sycophants capable of forming a coherent or rational though pattern and putting it into words?

      July 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • simplexmath

      I consider this hate speech.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Get your facts straight

      Being gay or lesbian has NOTHING to do with being a pedophile. Jerry Sandusky is a sick individual and the rest of his enablers share the burden of his actions and the guilt of the many lives that will never be the same Gain.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • db3

      Wow, you're an idiot. This just goes to show that some people are too stupid to be saved.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thomas

    I just wish people would consider that the comments or info concerning Joe Pa are very powerful right now, but he is not in the position to challenge them. Be careful that we don't add to a story information that all parties can't not validate.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dave

    rename penn state.....pediphlie state university. take away their elite so called football program an make them pay for years to come for giving PSU a bad wrap.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Myto Senseworth

    They will always be known as the Penn State Perverts. I can't understand how this involved so many people that were willing to stay silent. That is what realy makes this so bad.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • pooflingingmonkey

      I think Pedo State is a better fit.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • cdgfla

      Agreed Poof, with Pedo bear as the mascot.

      July 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. onintwo

    I don't understand why Paterno just didn't fire Sandusky on first word of this years ago.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. daboz

    it does not matter all the good that joe did in his career. What he didnt do was save the children that couldnt save themselves from this creature.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bob

    If I am not mistaken, most if not all of those who knew and didn't report were liberals.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle

      This has absolutely nothing to do with politics!

      July 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • claybigsby

      if im not mistaken...most of those priests who ra....ped little 10 year old boys were conservative.

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

    Those that are calling for the death penalty of PSU program really have no idea of how it would affect the rest of college football and other players at other universities. In a nut shell if you take away the PSU program thats 100 or so scholorships lost to deserving players and im not talking about the 4 star recruits that PSU normally get. Those recruits will have to go to other school taking away roster spots on those squad and that effect ripples till young men at lower schools who get to go to school on a football scholorship in oreder to get a degree with no NFL dreams are left out in the cold. Is that fair to them who had absolutely nothing to do with this?

    July 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • claybigsby

      sorry but life is not fair. If those kids aren't good enough to keep their scholarships, there are other means of paying for education. Financial aid and grants come to mind

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