Joe Paterno statue removed at Penn State (Video, Picture)
After over a week of kicking and screaming and reports saying they were going to fight to keep the Joe Paterno statue standing outside of Beaver Stadium, Penn State leadership finally succumbed to pressure and removed the bronze tribute to a man whose most notable life action was conspiring to cover up a pedophile’s rapes in order to protect his football program’s image.
A work crew gathered early Sunday morning to begin removing the statue from the front of the stadium. After it was removed, the statue was taken to an unspecified “secure location.”
The statue was built in 2001 in honor of Paterno’s record-setting 324th Division I coaching victory and his “contributions to the university,” but it had recently become a symbol of the mixed feelings regarding the coach’s legacy.
Penn State President Rodney Erickson issued the following statement regarding the decision to remove the statue:
“I now believe that, contrary to its original intention, Coach Paterno’s statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our University and beyond. For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location.
“I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse.”
Erickson says the Paterno name will remain on the university’s library. That was deemed a compromise to recognize Paterno’s overall contributions to the school.
Below is a video of the statue being carried away on a fork lift:
The move was overdue. The positive contributions Joe Paterno made to Penn State and all the players who played for him seem very hollow when you consider how many kids were raped and abused because he knowingly allowed Jerry Sandusky to roam free.