By Daniel Patrick Sheehan, Of The Morning Call
1:32 PM PST, November 7, 2011
Student and alumni outrage over the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State is finding outlets across the web, from Facebook pages to online petitions demanding university President Graham Spanier and legendary football coach Joe Paterno resign or even face charges.
"The captain of the ship is ultimately responsible for the actions of his crew," a woman wrote on one of the sites targeting school leadership.
Sandusky, a former assistant football coach, has been accused of serially abusing children he met through The Second Mile, a charity he founded for at-risk youths.
Additionally, two Penn State administrators were charged with lying to a grand jury investigating Sandusky and failing to properly report suspected child abuse. Athletic director Tim Curley and Gary Schultz, the school's senior vice president for business and finance, voluntarily stepped down from their positions.
By noon Monday, the modern public square was loud with condemnation and recrimination. Nearly 600 people had signed the petition at the http://www.change.org website calling for Spanier to be fired.
According to officials, a graduate assistant saw Sandusky sexually assaulting a boy in a locker room shower in 2002. The assistant reported what he saw to Paterno, who told Curley, prosecutors said.
But while Sandusky was barred from bringing children on campus, no sexual assault allegation ever reached law enforcement. In their grand jury testimony, Curley and Schultz denied the report concerned sexual conduct.
Spanier told the grand jury that Schultz and Curley came to him with a report that a staff member was uncomfortable because he'd seen Sandusky "horsing around" with a boy.
Spanier told the grand jury he did not perceive the incident was sexual and that he approved of the administrators' handling of the incident.
That explanation — along with Paterno's claim that he was never told "very specific" details of the shower incident — sparked outrage in cyberspace.
"Everyone who knew including the Pres of the Univ and Paterno et al and did not notify the Police in my mind committed a felony by collusion and all should be at the minimum FIRED IMMEDIATELY," one petition signer said.
Another, identified as a 1984 graduate, wrote: "The Alma Mater states 'May no act of ours bring shame, to one heart that loves thy name' — reason enough for JoePa and Spanier to step down."
On Facebook, several pages and membership groups had been established calling for Spanier's resignation. One page, "Fire Graham Spanier" had received 521 "likes" by Monday afternoon.
"I cannot see myself being Penn State Proud again until this university completely cleans house," one woman wrote on the page. "I want them all out — including Spanier and the entire football staff who was on staff when this was going on. ALL OF THEM. For the first time, I hang my head as an alum. I'm heartsick over this. Spanier - do the right thing and GET OUT!"
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