It’s been almost two years since the Joe Paterno statue was ceremoniously toppled from its place in front of Beaver Stadium on the Penn State campus, amidst great wailing and gnashing of teeth from his most ardent supporters. It wasn’t long after the Jerry Sandusky child abuse allegations came to light and the Freeh Report was released that Penn State officials decided to remove the statue. It was part of a Paterno campus purge, as many thought that the late football coach had not done enough to shield kids from Sandusky, and in fact helped to cover up the allegations.
Our photo above shows the statue in happier times, when people with their kids delighted in having their pictures taken with it. Ah irony, may you never die.
But the statue did come down, and the area plowed over and salted so that no crops would ever grow there. Or, it’s just a patio now. Not sure which.
But some alumni are planning a Paterno statue comeback. It wouldn’t be in the same place, and wouldn’t even be the same statue. It would be erected in front of a business, which is in downtown College Station. What would the pose be? Well …
Pat Daugherty, owner of The Tavern, has agreed to let a new bronze statue of Paterno be placed on the property in front of his restaurant in downtown State College. The statue will feature Paterno sitting on a bench reading the “Aeneid” and will be commissioned by Philadelphia sculptor Zenos Frudakis in the fall of 2015.
Local alum Kim Intorre, one of the planners of the project along with alumni Ted Sebastianelli and Eric Porterfield, said they hope to raise $300,000 for building the statue through a Kickstarter campaign.
But according to OnwardState.com, the inspiration for the statue came from “a photo of Paterno sitting on a bench eating ice cream.” Which is perfect, because currently the only trace of the late coach left on campus is at the Penn State Creamery, where they still serve Peachy Paterno ice cream. (Despite occasional threats).
The group asked Sue Paterno, Joe’s wife, if she wanted to participate in the statue project, but she declined. None of the Paterno family has involvement in the plans.