Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said he supports Penn State’s decision to fire head coach Joe Paterno in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal rocking the college campus.
The move to fire Paterno came after allegations the coach did not do enough to alert authorities of the alleged sex abuse committed on the college campus by Sandusky.
Sandusky was charged with 40 counts of sexual abuse of young boys over a 15-year period. Paterno first heard about the abuse in 2002 and told university officials, but did not report the incidents to the police.
The college’s Board of Trustees also fired Penn State President Graham Spanier on Wednesday.
“Their actions caused me to not have confidence in their ability to continue to lead,” said Corbett at a press conference.
Paterno was fired with three games remaining in this year’s football season. He began coaching at Penn State in 1966.
Corbett, while serving as the state attorney general, began an investigation into Sandusky in 2009. The investigation looked into the alleged sex abuse of young boys and a potential cover-up by university officials.
Some has applauded the recent firings at the university, while others took to the streets in prolonged demonstrations and riots around the campus.
Students angry over the firing threw rocks and bottles, tore down lampposts and street signs, and overturned a news van, according to reports. Police used pepper spray to scatter the crowds.
Corbett said the students have a right to protest but urged them to do so without violence, according to reports.
“The eyes of the nation are on you. They’re fixed on this campus ... Please behave and demonstrate your pride in Penn State,” he said. “Your actions speak much louder than your words and will carry with you for a very long period of time.”
It is unclear if other university officials will be fired in the wake of the sex abuse scandal.