LACKAWANNA COUNTY—One year ago, the Penn State Board of Trustees ousted school president Graham Spanier and longtime head football coach Joe Paterno.
Students and fans gathered on Paterno’s front lawn chanting for him, as emotions ran high when the beloved coach was fired.
A riot broke out in State College that night.
One year later, students are still reflecting on that day.
“I thought they went a little bit overboard. I didn’t think they should have fired Joe Paterno because he wasn’t directly conducting Jerry Sandusky with what he was doing,” said Levi Schmidt, a Penn State student at the Worthingston Scranton campus.
In January of this year, a few months after being fired, Paterno passed away.
Jerry Sandusky was tried and convicted of more than 40 counts related to sexually abusing 10 boys.
Then the Freeh Report came out, an investigation that faulted Penn State leaders, including Paterno and Spanier, for not doing enough to protect Sandusky’s victims.
The statue of Joe Paterno on campus was taken down.
Many said it seems like just yesterday that Paterno and Spanier were forced out.
At the same time, they said it has been long enough.
“It seems like the whole thing just keeps on being brought up when everyone at Penn State just wants to move on,” said student Daniel Pettite on the Worthington Scranton campus.
“Things have to get to a point where people accept that an awful thing happened and it did and move forward. The parties that were to blame are being dealt with and I hope the school can move on and become what it used to be,” said Tony Amico of Throop.