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Penn State Removes Paterno Statue

Penn State's President said the statue had become source of division. Paterno library's name will not change.

Penn State President Rodney Erickson announced early Sunday that the bronze statue of former football coach Joe Paterno would be removed from outside Beaver Stadium, and stored in a secure, unidentified location.

"With the release of Judge Freeh's Report of the Special Investigative Counsel, we as a community have had to confront a failure of leadership at many levels," Erickson said in a statement on the University's web site.

"The statue of Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium has become a lightning rod of controversy and national debate, including the role of big time sports in university life. The Freeh Report has given us a great deal to reflect upon and to consider, including Coach Paterno's legacy."

Police and construction workers barricaded both sides of the street and the sidewalks near the statue, the Chicago Tribune reported.

A chain-link fence was erected around the area and a tarp has been raised that concealed most of the statue. By 8:30 a.m., the statue had been carried inside Beaver Stadium.

Pictures of the scene are posted on twitter.

A short time later, the Paterno family issued a statement critical of the decision.

The Freeh report , including Paterno, for what it said was the "total disregard for the safety and welfare of children" who were sexually abused by Jerry Sandusky.

Erickson said that the statue, and the Paterno library are the most most visible memorials to the former coach.

"The library remains a tribute to Joe and Sue Paterno's commitment to Penn State's student body and academic success, and it highlights the positive impacts Coach Paterno had on the University," Erickson said. "Thus I feel strongly that the library's name should remain unchanged."

Erickson acknowledged that his decision may not be popular with everyone connected to Penn State. 

"I believe we have chosen a course that both recognizes the many contributions that Joe Paterno made to the academic life of our University, while taking seriously the conclusions of the Freeh Report and the national issue of child sexual abuse. Today, as every day, our hearts go out to the victims," he said.

You can read Erickson's entire statement here

Let us know if you agree with the decision to remove the statue of Joe Paterno by writing in the comments box below or . 

Andrew Munster July 22, 2012 at 03:53 PM
If the statue were to remain, it would serve only to remind people of why power and accomplishments don't warrant adoration. as Shelly pointed out many years ago...Andy " Ozymandias " I met a traveler from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; And on the pedestal these words appear: “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” Nothing beside remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.
trusgold July 22, 2012 at 07:42 PM
that's horrible
trusgold July 22, 2012 at 07:42 PM
thats just wrong
Andrew Munster July 22, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Every time someone would see the statue of Joe in his glory it would remind them of the scandal. I'm guessing that that is exactly why they chose to remove it. I'm not saying that there we're great things accomplished but "The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones". Wm Shakespeare.
MCB July 23, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Is Penn State now going to return all of the money donated to the university by the Paterno's over the course of many years? This is a considerable sum of money. Surely they wouldn't want to keep that "tainted" money. Or perhaps, they could return the amounts donated between 1998-2011 since they have chosen to wipe out that portion of his football legacy. While I understand the need to acknowledge what was done to the victims that were abused, let's keep in mind that it's Sandusky who is the monster and criminal.

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