Report: Joe Paterno Statue To Be Removed This Weekend

When Penn State students return to campus in the fall, a familiar landmark will apparently be gone:

The emotional and controversial debate over whether the bronze statute of Joe Paterno should remain standing could well be over. The NFL Network first reported that the statue would come down this weekend. A source told Bonnie Bernstein formerly with CBS and ESPN.

The 7-foot image of Paterno raising a finger to the sky, was erected in November 2001 outside of Beaver Stadium. It has torn the fabric of State College in two.

Students clinging to the memory of a coach who led generations of young men through his program, camped out in front of the statue to protect it from vandalism. And earlier this week, a plane flew over the stadium with a banner that read, “Take the statue down or we will.”

They now won’t have to: The Board of Trustees, whose former chairman and current board member Steve Garban resigned Thursday night, will make sure that happens.

The sculptor, Angelo Di Maria said removing the statue now would be too hasty.

“I think we should all wait on it. Put a cover on it,” Di Maria told the Boston Herald. “Let’s see how everyone feels in six months…or a year.”

But for the emotions surrounding the issue, that might not seem like an unreasonable request. After the revelations in the Freeh Report, though, the idea of honoring Paterno just seems really inappropriate.

FILED UNDER: Education, Quick Takes, Sports
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. legion says:

    “I think we should all wait on it. Put a cover on it,” Di Maria told the Boston Herald. “Let’s see how everyone feels in six months…or a year.”

    No. The “six months or a year” for people to sort out their feelings and gather information on what really happened was during the compilation of the Freeh report. They’ve had that time. If they spent the last year in denial, tough. It’s time do things now, and un-deifying Paterno is step #1.

  2. On his radio show, Colin Cowherd expressed an opposing view – feeling that the statue should remain up so that every time the statue was shown, the issue of child abuse would be highlighted. In his view, removing the statue is equivalent to sweeping the problem under the rug.

  3. Gustopher says:

    How about leaving his statue, but adding statues of weeping children, to symbolize the victims that he did nothing to help?

  4. Dean says:

    @John E. Bredehoft: On his radio show, Colin Cowherd expressed an opposing view – feeling that the statue should remain up so that every time the statue was shown, the issue of child abuse would be highlighted.

    If keeping the statue up is to highlight the issue of child abuse, they should at least modify it so Paterno’s left hand is covering his mouth and the pointed finger on his right hand moves over a digit.

  5. Nikki says:

    In his view, removing the statue is equivalent to sweeping the problem under the rug.

    Which would be true except that the statue represents a deity to that community. Removing it will start the process of that community examining its moral values. Leaving it would only preserve the image of deity.

  6. al-Ameda says:

    I agree completely with the decision to remove the statue. After all, Penn State University stands for more that it’s football program.

    There are many people who devoted their careers to teach or research at PSU, as well as graduates of the PSU’s undergraduate and graduate programs, for whom the school represents more than the football program. These people do not need to be reminded every day that Joe Paterno and senior campus management made a prodigiously wrong decision to protect a football program by shielding a pedophile from the consequences of his criminal actions.

    Take the statue down.

  7. DRS says:

    Maybe it would be more accurate to say: dismantle the shrine.

  8. JKB says:

    Why not just make it more accurate by adding a small naked boy being trod underfoot?

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @legion:

    It’s time do things now, and un-deifying Paterno is step #1.

    Maybe, he never should have been deified to begin with? I mean, he was, after all, just another flawed human being…. Just like all of us. Oh, I know, I know, we all would have done different….

    But just exactly who amongst us has?

    I have never been so tested (thank god), and I am 99.9% sure none of you have either. I have been tested, and I have sided with the Angels (every time except for that once…. no twice…. when i was tested beyond my capabilities to resist) I don’t know what Joe PA was thinking, I don’t know what excuses he made for what he did. What I DO know, is you ain’t Snow White MF’ers, so get off your high horses and stop beating them… they are dead.

    By all means, remove the statue…. and while you are at it, remove the Washington Memorial because he built Mount Vernon with slave labor, remove the Jefferson Memorial because he raped a slave, remove the Lincoln Memorial because he said he would keep slavery forever if it would preserve the Union, remove MLK’s Memorial because he was a philandering SOB….

    Guess what folks…. Our heroes aren’t heroes. They are human. Nothing more nothing less. What is more? So are you.

    And that is what you are so afraid to face.

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Oh…. and by the way, remove Teddy from Mount Rushmore because he was complete and total pussy.

    Long live Candido Rondon, who had balls the size of cantaloupes. He once said (or something like it) “Die, but never fight the Indians.” And he almost did, on more than a few occasions. Read “Stringing together a Nation”.

  11. Long live Candido Rondon, who had balls the size of cantaloupes. He once said (or something like it) “Die, but never fight the Indians.”

    I think that he said “morrer se preciso for, matar nunca”. It´s translated as something like: “Die if you need to die, but never kill” or “To die if it´s necessary, but never to kill”.