Paternoville, the tent city where students camp out for prime football tickets the week before home games in Happy Valley, has been renamed to ‘Nittanyville’.
News of the renaming comes after an independent investigation, led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, released a report concluding that Paterno assisted in the concealment of Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children.
The tent city earned the ‘Paternoville’ moniker in 2005, but the Penn State student group that manages the area outside Beaver Stadium has now confirmed the name change, saying it will “return the focus to the overall team, and the thousands of students who support it.”
Coach Joe Paterno, who passed away from lung cancer in January 2012, was fired in November 2011 after Sandusky was charged with child sexual abuse. Sandusky awaits sentencing after being convicted last month of abusing 10 boys. He maintains his innocence.
The symbolic renaming of Paternoville is yet another example of how Joe Paterno’s legacy has been chipped away since the scandal began – previously, Nike erased his name from its childcare center, while a mural at Penn State recently removed the halo above Paterno’s head.
On its website, the student organization that runs makeshift campgrounds revealed:
“[...] Since it was unlikely another coach would stay as long as Coach Paterno had, changing the name for each new coach would be impractical.”
And in a statement released Monday, committee President Troy Weller added:
“Now, it’s a new era of Nittany Lion football. And by changing the name to Nittanyville, we want to return the focus to the overall team and the thousands of students who support it. We thank the Paterno family for their gracious assistance and support over the last several years.”
Students at this year’s encampment plan will donate proceeds from their annual fundraising efforts to a child abuse prevention and treatment center.