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As the Sandusky controversy began to heat up last year, Joe Paterno, long-time coach of Penn State’s football team and former god-like figure in college sports, testified in front of the court that he had no recollection or knowledge of the molestation charges set against his coaching sidekick, Jerry Sandusky. Soon after, JoePa passed away, leaving a loose end on his career and numerous questions still to be answered.
Here is the statement that the University released:
Throughout Penn State, the two most visible memorials to Coach Paterno are the statue at Beaver Stadium and the Paterno Library. The future of these two landmarks has been the topic of heated debate and many messages have been received in various University offices, including my own. We have heard from numerous segments of the Penn State community and others, many of whom have differing opinions. These are particularly important decisions when considering things that memorialize such a revered figure.
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.
The Paterno Library will remain as a symbol of the academic contributions the family has made over the years to the school. The statue… not so lucky – this morning, it was found covered by a blue tarp.