Joe Paterno’s statute at Penn State University may not last the weekend.
Kim Jones of the NFL network and WFAN tweeted an update Friday that officials at the university plan to take down the statute to the now-tarnished former coach. The report, carried by CBS New York, noted that the university’s refusal to take down the statue until this point was creating controversy of its own.
As public sentiment in favor of the statue’s removal grew, a banner flew above Penn State with the message, “Take down the statue or we will.” In response to the threat some groups of Penn State students vowed to guard the statue against vandals.
Paterno was fired by the university last year as the controversy surrounding assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was unraveling. Paterno, who died in January, saw his legacy further tarnished with the release of the report from former FBI director Louis Freeh, which showed him taking an active role in covering up allegations against Sandusky and allowing the man to stay in contact with young boys.
Sandusky was convicted on 45 of the 48 counts he faced of sexual abuse against 19 boys, and since his conviction new victims have come forward that showed he may have been abusing boys dating back to the 1970s.
There are sill conflicting reports about whether the Joe Paterno statue is coming down. Veteran sportscaster Bonnie Bernstein echoed the report from Kim Jones, tweeting that the university’s board of trustees voted on Thursday to remove the statue.
Source: Penn State Board of Trustees voted on a conference call last night to take down Joe Paterno statue. Will happen this wknd.
— Bonnie Bernstein (@BonnieBernstein) July 20, 2012
But Penn State board member Ryan McCombie disputed the report that Joe Paterno’s statue is coming down, telling Laura Nichols of STateCollege.com on the alleged vote, “We did no such thing.” Jones herself later tweeted that no final decision had been made.
Prez Rodney Erickson’s office is telling PSU donors that “no final decision” has been made on statue.
— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) July 20, 2012
There are still other options for the Joe Paterno statue, Fox Sports noted. The statue’s sculptor, Angelo Di Maria, suggested that it be covered for a period of six months or a year as those involved evaluate what should happen next.