Joe Paterno’s statue has been taken down from its place outside the Penn State football stadium on Sunday, the same day the NCAA announced it would be issuing unprecedented sanctions against the university, whose top officials were accused in the scathing Freeh report of burying child sex abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky.
Sporting News reports that workers on Sunday lifted the 7-foot-tall statue off of its base and used a forklift to move it inside Beaver Stadium as 100 to 150 students present chanted, “We are Penn State.”
The statue’s removal comes after the university announced that it would take down the monument of the now-tarnished late coach’s reputation. The Chicago Tribune notes that NCAA President Mark Emmert announced that the organization will levy “corrective and punitive measures” against Penn State.
They will announce those sanctions on Monday, but for now simply stated they have not ruled out the possibility of shutting down the Penn State football program after the scandal came to light. Emmert added that he had “never seen anything as egregious.”
The Paterno family also issued a statement about the statue’s removal, saying that it “does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State community.” They went on to say that:
“We believe the only way to help the victims is to uncover the full truth.”
Paterno’s family has vowed to complete their own investigation of the scandal after the release of the original report by former FBI director Louis Freeh. They called Free’s report “the equivalent of an indictment — a charging document written by a prosecutor — and an incomplete and unofficial one at that.”
Paterno’s widow, Sue, as well as two of their children, visited the statue on Friday, as well as students and fans, who lined up to get their pictures taken with the landmark, which will be stored in an undisclosed, “safe,” location. The removed Joe Paterno statue weighed over 900 pounds and was built in 2001 in honor of the late coach’s record-setting 324th Division I coaching victory, as well as his “contributions to the university.”
Are you glad that Joe Paterno’s statue has been removed from the front of Penn State Stadium?
Check out Bobby Bowden’s take on the Joe Paterno statue removal: