Poll finds slim majority support Paterno's firing

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 09, 2011 10:03 AM
Poll finds slim majority support Paterno's firing

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Pennsylvania voters support the firing of legendary Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno in the university's child sexual abuse scandal by a slim majority, according to poll results released on Friday.

A larger majority said they think football has too much influence at the school, which has been rocked by allegations that former assistant coach Joe Sandusky sexually abused 10 boys over a 15-year period.

Sandusky faces 52 counts of child sexual abuse. Paterno, the university's head football coach for 46 years, has been fired as has university President Graham Spanier.

The Quinnipiac University poll found 52 percent of those surveyed supported Paterno's dismissal and 43 percent opposed the move.

More people, 74 percent, said they approved of Spanier's firing, and 13 percent disapproved.

Two-thirds of those polled said they think football has too much influence at Penn State, the survey found.

About half said they were not at all interested in following college football, while a fifth described themselves as very interested in the sport.

A large majority of 85 percent said they have been closely following news about the Penn State case.

The poll was taken from November 28 to December 5 to land lines and cell phones of 1,453 registered voters. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Jerry Norton)