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Corbett says he's lost confidence in Paterno, Spanier - abc27 WHTM

Corbett says he's lost confidence in Paterno, Spanier

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) -

Gov. Tom Corbett said he supports the decision of Penn State's board of trustees to fire university president Graham Spanier and head football coach Joe Paterno.

Corbett spoke publicly about the board's decision Thursday evening. He said he was disappointed by the actions of Spanier and Paterno.

"I support the decision of the board. Their actions caused me to not have confidence in their ability to lead," Corbett said.

Many were shocked and angered by the firing of Paterno and wanted the legendary coach to be allowed to finish the season, but Corbett said abused children should come first.

"You must keep in mind, when it comes to the safety of the children there is no margin for error, no hesitation to act," Corbett said.

An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 students and fans crowded the streets of State College Wednesday night to protest Paterno's firing, and some in the crowd eventually turned to violence by throwing rocks, overturning a television news van, and attempting to start fires, according to police.

Corbett said the rioting was not acceptable.

"The eyes of the nation are on you, they are fixed on this campus," he said. "I believe in your right to assemble and to express your opinions. I do not believe, nor do I think anyone believes in the right to violence."

The streets of the college town were quiet Thursday night, while Old Main stood alone and faithful as always.

Students said they know the actions of a few were wrong, but felt their voices should have been heard.

"I think there is a lack of understanding being given to the students and why they feel the way they feel," graduate student Andy Lucien said. "It kind of feels like there is a frustration about the fact that, from students point of view, there is a scapegoat being made while no attention is not being placed on Sandusky or the victims."

"I feel like we are trying to respond to the pressure we are receiving, and we just don't know how to react," sophomore Meredith Moore said. "We are frustrated. We are broken as a student body. We just feel lost and helpless to the cause. We don't know how to gain any power in this situation and we're just trying to make a point."

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