Nearly half of Pennsylvania voters polled in a recent survey support renaming Penn State University's Beaver Stadium for longtime football coach Joe Paterno, who died in January shortly after a sex-abuse scandal ended his career.
The poll also showed that 40 percent of those surveyed oppose the idea of adding Paterno's name to the cavernous stadium at the heart of the land-grant university's main campus in Centre County.
"There is lingering respect for Joe Paterno," Tim Malloy, assistant director of the polling institute, said in a statement.
The institute at the Connecticut university regularly conducts public opinion surveys and conducted this six-day poll earlier this month. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.
Other poll findings include:
- 55 percent of college football fans among those polled favor renaming the stadium for Paterno, while 37 percent oppose it.
- 44 percent of non-college football fans favor renaming the stadium for Paterno, while 37 percent oppose it.
- 51 percent of poll voters age 65 or older favor renaming the stadium for Paterno, while 32 percent oppose it.
The university's trustees fired Paterno in November over his handling of child sex-abuse allegations against his former defensive coordinater Jerry Sandusky, who has since been arrested and is awaiting trial in that case. Paterno, who had been revered by many for his long and winning career at the helm of Penn State's football program, died of lung cancer two months later.
Should Penn State move ahead with such a proposal to honor Paterno? Or did his handling of the Sandusky case taint his career too much to put his name on the stadum?
What do you think?