On November 9, 2011, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was fired amidst a growing scandal pertaining to numerous allegations about sexual misconduct and the sexual abuse of underage boys which had occurred at the school.
Days before Paterno’s firing, coach Jerry Sandusky had been arrested on 52 charges of child sexual abuse occurring between 1994 and 2009. Reportedly, Paterno had been aware of at least one incident, and he failed to report it to the police. Paterno was condemned for not doing enough to stop the sex crimes.
Amidst growing criticism, Paterno supporters rallied behind him, holding demonstrations at his residence. Paterno resigned from his position at the same time his contract was terminated by the school. He was not, despite outcry from his supporters, allowed to finish the season. The university’s president resigned at the same time.
Paterno’s firing resulted in campus-wide riots, with supporters chanting his name as they destroyed property.
After Paterno’s death, an FBI investigation determined that he had deliberately concealed evidence about Sandusky’s abuse in an attempt to shield the athletic department from controversy.
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