Penn State : Peaceful events at Paternoville provide stark contrast from Wednesday riots

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Jon: jdharr04@syr.edu UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In Paternoville, the scene was much different Wednesday night than the one on College Avenue. There weren’t any riots, tipped over television news trucks or downed lampposts. Instead, there was silence.The students in Paternoville huddled around the Joe Paterno statue outside Beaver Stadium and took in the news. The legendary football coach — the man idolized in bronze right in front of them — had been fired in the midst of his 46th season at Penn State.The coach with the most wins in Division I college football history and Penn State President Graham Spanier were removed by the Board of Trustees on Wednesday night in light of a sexual abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.‘Someone tried to start a ‘We Are’ chant and it was just not the right time because we just all wanted to reflect on what just happened,’ said Sam McLoota, a senior supply chain major. ‘That’s another tough thing, it’s hard to see this all go down when you go this school and you love it so much. We just got to fight through and go to this game on Saturday and see us pick up the W.’The 12th-ranked Nittany Lions (8-1) will face No. 19 Nebraska (7-2) at noon Saturday in Beaver Stadium. But those in Paternoville, the place where students camp out for first-row seats at an upcoming home game, are hoping to defeat more than the Cornhuskers this weekend. They’re hoping to overcome the negative attention given to Penn State since the riot Wednesday night.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘The whole week we’ve been hearing stuff, all the news outlets about how we look bad because we’re doing those things,’ said McLoota, adding that only a small portion of Penn State’s more than 38,000 students participated in the riot Wednesday night.McLoota, who is participating in Paternoville for the third time, said he wasn’t planning on camping out this week until he and Kevin Turk, a senior professional golf management major, saw on Twitter that some spots in the tent-filled village outside Beaver Stadium remained open. McLoota camped out for the Iowa game during his sophomore year and the Illinois game while he was a junior.McLoota and Turk bought a $90 red and white tent and made camp Wednesday afternoon, making sure to get a spot on the inside to guard against the wind. It was about 40 degrees out with a chilly breeze Thursday night.For McLoota, camping out for the Nebraska game was an opportunity to see Paterno coach for the last time — until Wednesday night’s news broke.‘I wasn’t planning on doing it for this, but when they said it was going to be Joe’s last game at home, I really wanted to be a part of it so I came out here,’ McLoota said. ‘Unfortunately that’s not the case, but we’re still out here for the team and that’s a good thing. We’re still all behind this team and we’re all going to be there cheering them on Saturday.’Turk, while playing trashcan football with McLoota and two other friends, said the news of the past week is hard to sum up. In trashcan football, there are two teams with two players each, two footballs and two trashcans side by side. Once a player makes it in the trash with the football, the other team flips the lid to show that can has been hit. The first team to make two cans wins.‘It’s just been a whirlwind. It’s hard to even tell what day it is with how much stuff has been going on,’ said Turk, as the football made a loud bang against the hard plastic of one of the blue trashcans. ‘It’s a shame in many situations that the act of a few can tarnish the reputations of many, whether it’s the actual situation at hand or the riots last night, which is obviously a small, small portion of the students.’Mark Mularczyk, a junior history major, and Matt Wargon, a junior engineering major, have been camping out in Paternoville since 8 p.m. Monday. Mularczyk has participated in Paternoville for every home game this year, while Wargon has been in Paternoville for every home game since freshman year.But Wargon has never experienced a week like this one.‘We’re trying to be out here holding down the fort, trying to show everybody that not all of Penn State is downtown rioting,’ he said. ‘Some of us are doing what Joe thinks is best, which is behaving like normal people and acting civilized and supporting the team and kids.’If the riots had to happen Wednesday night, Mularczyk said, he wishes students would have gathered for the children, who are the victims of this tragedy.‘We can still support JoePa by being rational people, not rioting downtown,’ Wargon said. ‘I wish it didn’t have to be this way but this is just the way things played out.’jdharr04@syr.educenter_img Commentslast_img

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