After legendary head coach Joe Paterno was fired amid controversy surrounding sexual abuse of adolescent boys by longtime assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, reaction across the nation was varied.
Immediately following the announcement, students began to gather at central locations on the Penn State campus to show their support for the 84-year-old coach. However, the demonstration quickly shifted into a riot as emotions ran high among fans.
The riot turned violent as two local news vans were flipped over, as angry fans blamed the media coverage for the negative coverage of the situation and the eventual firing of Paterno.
Thursday, interim head coach Tom Bradley held his inaugural press conference, addressing all of the questions post-Paterno. One question that arose during the press availability was the status of receivers coach Mike McQueary.
The former Penn State quarterback has been a member of the coaching staff since his graduation in 1997, and was the graduate assistant that walked in on Sandusky and one of the boys while an alleged assault was happening. According to Bradley, McQueary, who can be seen on the sidelines weekly, is expected to be in his usual post Saturday as the Nitany Lions take on Nebraska.
Perhaps one of the most easily overlooked aspects of the Paterno firing is the status of the Pennsylvania State University class Comm 497G: Joe Paterno, Communications & the Media. Known among students as "JoePa Class," the specialized class allows students to survey the media from the viewpoint of the longtime head coach.
During Thursday's session, national journalists Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated and Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports spoke to the class. Campus news site editor Devon Edwards tweeted quotes from the session with the two media members.
"Posnanski: ‘We're only hearing one side of the story, and it's not an impartial story...very, very hard to say 'let's wait this out.'"
"I think [Paterno] is a scapegoat. I definitely think that...I think he tried to do the right thing, and the right thing didn't happen."
The No. 12 Nitany Lions host No. 19 Nebraska at 11 a.m. Saturday, their first game without Joe Paterno at the helm since 1966.