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Historically, Penn State's greatest strengths have been drinking, chanting, being super into football, and general belligerence. So when news broke that legendary football coach Joe Paterno was being fired by the board of trustees (some stupid president, too) over the school's child-sex-abuse scandal, PSU combined all three of their noted strengths in a massive riot on Beaver Canyon.
Around 2,000 students took to the streets on Wednesday night, chanting, "We want Joe!" and "Fuck the trustees!" JoePa cutouts, fireworks, and megaphones surfaced before long. Then, to quote the ever-sage Will Smith, shit got real. A photojournalist was struck in the head with a "thrown object." Some students scaled lightposts, others overturned a freaking news van, to wild cheers. Everyone was having such a great time, but of course the lame cops arrived to totally harsh everyone's buzz.
Police said earlier today that they were still gathering information on arrests, but we do know this: students definitely got maced last night.
Really, it's hard to feel sorry for them. Paterno may be an icon, but he also effectively allowed an alleged sex offender to prey on boys for years. Don't say his phone call to the athletics director was enough. It wasn't, and we all know it. Firing him was the only sensible thing for the college to do. So protesting that move only proves that a good portion of the PSU student body is more concerned with football than reporting a rampant molester and that is, well, insane.
Oh, and another heinous development in this increasingly heinous story? Rumors of a large vigil for Jerry Sandusky's reported victims appear to have been nothing more than rumors. You stay classy, Penn State.