What About Constitutional Right to Riot When Football Legend Axed?

By John W. Lillpop

Although not an avid fan of college football, I obviously knew of the name Joe Paterno and the deification afforded the legendary football coach, especially in Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State University(PSU).

However, the news which broke this week concerning Paterno and his loyalists at PSU was simply too bizarre and shocking to believe.

As I understand it, over a 15-year period, Jerry Sandusky, defensive coordinator under Joe Paterno, committed numerous acts of sexual abuse against young boys, said violations witnessed by others and reported up the chain of command, including to Joe Paterno.

And despite the severity of the charges, Paterno and others did NOT contact the police.

It is my further understanding that when this crime wave and cover-up was disclosed in an explosive grand jury report, PSU officials fired coach Paterno over the telephone, thus abruptly ending his 45-year career with the Nittany Lions football program.

The most bizarre part of this story is that Paterno’s sacking caused a thousand or so students to take to the streets and riot. At first glance, one suspected that the rioters were acting in anger at the abuses heaped upon the eight young boys. A righteous call to justice?

Sadly, it turns out that the rioters were upset by the fact that the omnipotent Paterno was defrocked, and over the phone no less.

Thus the riots with the driving theme being, “What About my Constitutional Right to Riot When Football Legend Fired?”

And this is an institution of ‘higher learning’?