In a clear sign that the leadership and culture at Penn State University still needs a major overhaul, the Board of Trustees reportedly want the Joe Paterno statue next to the football field on campus to remain standing.
ESPN reports that the Board of Trustees have quietly committed to keeping the statue, and that they even hope it will remain that way forever. Their reasoning, according to Dan Van Natta Jr., is pretty sickening.
The trustees’ reluctance to remove the statue is motivated, in part, by a desire not to offend alumni and students who adore the late coach despite the damning findings of his role in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse cover-up detailed in the Freeh report, the sources said. Some trustees also said in interviews they want to resist being pressured by the media into a sudden decision about such an emotionally charged issue.
This sounds to me like the school is still making poor decisions because of money. They don’t want to offend the alumni and students? It’s time for the school to admit wrongdoing and that Paterno was not a proper role model, which is part of what a statue signifies.
“You can’t let people stampede you into making a rash decision,” a trustee said. “The statue represents the good that Joe did. It doesn’t represent the bad that he did.”
According to Natta’s article, the Penn State trustees believe the public will eventually forget about the statue and that the issue will blow over.
“They don’t get to tell us,” a source told Natta regarding the public pressure. “This is a Penn State community decision.”
The trustees are preaching patience and remaining obstinate, but they need to understand that things have changed. Their “sweep it under the rug” mentality will no longer fly. Penn State is no longer operating in its own world where football rules and morals don’t matter. And I’m not advocating for the statue to be torn down because of reasons Bobby Bown provided. Oh no. It’s obvious that the pride related to the football program needs to be ripped from the school’s hands. They’re still morally corrupt by it, and tearing all their idols down is just the start to fixing the major problems.
And if you think I’m going overboard, watch this video by a recently elected Penn State trustee and tell me what you think.