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NCAA Football

The Joe Paterno Statue Has Been Taken Down (UPDATE)

The debate is over, friends. The Joe Paterno statue has been taken down and will be moved to an unamed “secure location.” After the release of the Freeh report, intense debate surrounding the statue and its removal began, with many on either side of the issue. Ultimately, however, Penn State president Rodney Erickson decided that it was in the best interest of the university to remove the symbolic connection between Penn State football and Joe Paterno. The library, however, will still bear JoePa’s name.

Here’s the president’s statement, in full:

“Since we learned of the Grand Jury presentment and the charges against Jerry Sandusky and University officials last November, members of the Penn State community and the public have been made much more acutely aware of the tragedy of child sexual abuse. Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to those victims of Mr. Sandusky and all other victims of child abuse. I assure you that Penn State will take a national leadership role in the detection and prevention of child maltreatment in the months and years ahead.

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. 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.

Throughout Penn State, the two most visible memorials to Coach Paterno are the statue at Beaver Stadium and the Paterno Library. The future of these two landmarks has been the topic of heated debate and many messages have been received in various University offices, including my own. We have heard from numerous segments of the Penn State community and others, many of whom have differing opinions. These are particularly important decisions when considering things that memorialize such a revered figure.

I now believe that, contrary to its original intention, Coach Paterno’s statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our University and beyond. For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location. I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse.

On the other hand, the Paterno Library symbolizes the substantial and lasting contributions to the academic life and educational excellence that the Paterno family has made to Penn State University. 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. Thus I feel strongly that the library’s name should remain unchanged.

Coach Paterno’s positive impact over the years and everything he did for this University predate his statue. At the same time it is true that our institution’s excellence cannot be attributed to any one person or to athletics. Rather, Penn State is defined by our actions and accomplishments as a learning community. Penn State has long been an outstanding academic institution and we will continue to be.

The world will be watching how Penn State addresses its challenges in the days ahead. While some may take issue with the decisions I have made, I trust that everyone associated with our University will respond in a civil and respectful manner.

I fully realize that my decision will not be popular in some Penn State circles, but I am certain it is the right and principled decision. 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.”

UPDATE: There is now video of the Paterno statue being taken down. Check it out:


  • Anonymous

    To the BOT – a good decision and much more important than
    re-decorating the showers.

  • Anonymous

    Keeping slime ball paterno’s name on the library is shameful.  If they don’t change the name,  they’re telling the world they fully support  a disgusting child rapist.  

  • Anonymous

    Looks like we’ve moved on to the next media circus.

  • http://truth-and-opinion.dyndns-blog.com/ The Peripatetic Apostate

    This was inevitable once Freeh’s investigation showed Paterno trying to sweep this under a rug, in being an outright accomplice.  He’d have been charged with a felony in most jurisdictions.

    The shocking thing is that Joe Paterno had children of his own.  He’s made numerous judgment calls on the football field.  How could he have made a the poorest judgment call where he feared scandal as opposed to protecting helpless child victims?  How?

  • Anonymous

    Good first step. Now suspend the football program indefitely. Who is going to play them?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQM4E3YP3ZCHU2ID4QLTPPJTKE TJ

    Nice try for a slice down the middle.

    Here’s a little sumthin sumthin for the both of you.. 
    Don’t like ol’ Joe?  Statue….buh-bye.
    Still like JoePa?   Look see the library.
    That was easy.

    Way to make a stand.

  • Anonymous

    Good job with finally removing the statue, but they should really change the library’s name, too.  Is “Co-conspirator in Child Rape Library” too long?

  • Clovis4

    The statue will be placed at the entrance to the Vatican where they appreciate a good child rape coverup.

  • Anonymous

    Why not go after the leader of the Catholic Church in this country, he’s done much worse than Joe Paterno ever did.  He covered up, gave pedophiles $20,000 to leave the church, is still fighting rights for the victims.  Timothy Dolan should be in jail.

  • Anonymous

    This was an overreaction.

    The University should have only taken the statute’s pants down.

  • Anonymous

    they need to rid everything of him…do they not understand he help cover up children being rapped. omg..sick people in this world

  • Anonymous

    Brain dead losers like you are what’s wrong with this country.  You dudn’t turn in your abuser and now every abuse story has others like you calling for the death sentencve for everybody you think was involved. Get some counselin g for your own abuse- or was it abuse?

  • Anonymous

    You might want to look up the meaning of the  word  I – N – S -A – N – E.  You and your inane comment, are a perfect example.

  • Calmwaters2011

    I cannot  understand how some people can be so cold hearted, people, young boys, some with social issues were molested and raped, an adult had anal sex with the kids is this plain enough for you idiots? and your hero because of his pride did nothing to help the kids and the rapist kept doing that for years and every time he came with a young boy they knew exactly what what was doing and did nothing and you idiots see nothing wrong.  karma is a bitch and payback is a  mother #$$$ keep your sons and grandsons or the unborn ones close to your heart because I hope and wish that someone rape your kids, let us see, but then all you idiots that think he did nothing wrong maybe you idiots only get a hard on for young kids, preferably young hairless boys perverts, dogs and heartless mother#$#%% I am living in hope. some idiot above said that someone was upset because they were molested and is now angry, seriously how inhuman.  Watch your kids, I am sorry  for the kids but not for the pain that you will go through,
    there is a saying what you do not want on your front step you find under your bed…keep checking someone will be raping your kids in your very bed and I will be glad.  this is a vile post but I am tring to get through the vilest of the vile, the people who truely believed that the coach did nothing wrong,

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