After the embarrassment of Wednesday night's riot, in which thousands of Penn State students took to the streets to protest the firing of longtime football coach Joe Paterno for helping to cover up assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's alleged rape of several young boys, you'd think Penn State fans would have learned their lesson. As it turns out, not all of them have.
Penn State and Nebraska played a football game today, the first since Paterno was fired, and oddly, only one protester showed up—Penn State alum John Matko, who drove to State College from Pittsburgh carrying signs urging the university to follow Paterno's successor Tom Bradley and to cancel the rest of the football season. "The Kids Are What This Day Is About," read one of his signs. Apparently not everyone agreed:
A beer showered Matko. One man slapped his stomach. Another called him a "p–-."
A burly man wearing a "JoePa" T-shirt strode up, wrestled away the sign urging abused kids be put first from Matko's right hand and slammed it to the ground.
"Not now, man," one student said, shaking his head. "This is about the football players."
Now, in Penn State's defense, last night the university held a candlelight vigil attended by as many twice the number of students who rioted on Wednesday. And today was "Blue Out," a child abuse prevention-centered variation on the university's traditional "White Out" event that raised tens of thousands of dollars. Maybe Penn State can spend some of the money it raised on educating its fans?