Nebraska regent fears for player, fan safety vs. Penn State
A University of Nebraska regent called for safety assurances from Penn State on Thursday, saying he fears for the safety of the Cornhuskers’ football traveling party and fans at this weekend’s game.
Regent Tim Clare of Lincoln said he began worrying about safety while watching televised coverage of the scene in State College, Pa., after coach Joe Paterno’s firing Wednesday night.
Police in riot gear dispersed about 2,000 people who took to the streets after coach Joe Paterno was fired. Crowds toppled a television news van and kicked in its windows, and at least one photographer was pelted with a rock. Officers used pepper spray at times to control the crowd.
Clare said he called Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne early Thursday morning to discuss safety.
“Happy Valley is a pretty interesting place on a normal football Saturday,” Clare said. “Given what’s developed the last several days, particularly last night, we have a duty to ensure that our football student-athletes, staff, coaches and our fans are safe.”
Penn State police chief Tyrone Parham wrote in an email to the Associated Press on Thursday that his force is “taking extra precautions and has added additional resources for the game.” He didn’t elaborate.
Penn State interim coach Tom Bradley, speaking at a news conference, admonished students to not engage in hooliganism because they’re upset about Paterno’s firing in the wake of the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant Jerry Sandusky.
“I think the message is clear: Let’s show them what Penn State is really all about … Let’s show class; let’s show dignity,” Bradley said.
Bradley said he wasn’t worried about the safety of Penn State’s players on Saturday.
Clare said PSU police should lay out a specific security plan to Nebraska officials and say how it will be carried out.
“If we’re not satisfied with that answer, we look to Plan B,” Clare said.
Clare said he couldn’t speculate on alternatives if Nebraska officials aren’t satisfied with Penn State’s security plans.