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Penn State Removes Joe Paterno Statue

University officials made the decision to take down the bronze statue early Sunday morning in light of details from the Freeh report. Paterno's name will remain on the library.

Construction crews arrived at Penn State early Sunday morning to remove the bronze Joe Paterno statue from the front of Beaver Stadium and place it in an undisclosed secure location, ESPN.com reports.

The project began at 6:15 a.m., when workers blocked off access to the statue with a fence wrapped in a blue tarp, according to USA Today. By 8:20 a.m., a forklift had carried the 900-pound statue into the stadium.

In what appears to be a compromise for Paterno's detractors and his supporters, the coach's name will remain on the university's library. Joe and Sue Paterno contributed more than $4 million for the library's construction.

Rumors of a decision made about the fate of the statue swirled Friday, with no indication of how Penn State President Rodney Erickson would rule or when the action would be carried out.

In a statement posted on the Penn State website, Erickson said, "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 removal of the statue comes in the wake of the published findings from Louis Freeh's investigation of the events surrounding Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of children on the grounds of the college. The report is highly critical of Penn State administrators, including Paterno, accusing them of putting the school's reputation ahead of the safety of children.

ESPN also reports that the NCAA has reviewed the Freeh report and will announce what a source called severe penalties against Penn State. However, according to ESPN's source, the sanctions will not include the "death penalty," the name for a possible one-year suspension of the football program.

Man Landers July 22, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Don't worry, the JoePa apologists will still have photos of the statue to display right next to their paintings of Jesus.
Incognito July 22, 2012 at 07:13 PM
I cannot wait for the day Penn State is out of the news. I wish everyone could just move on already. Instead of wasting time pointing fingers and slandering the university, we should be trying to figure out how to prevent child abuse from happening, not just at Penn State, but everywhere.
Liz Shockley July 22, 2012 at 10:21 PM
No one ever prevented child abuse by not talking about it. That's how this problem started. I respect the university for funding the recent investigation and for this move. They're doing these things to try to regain credibility. They're addressing the weak links that caused this problem. By doing it in private, it doesn't make an example for anyone.
Jason Gutekunst July 23, 2012 at 11:02 AM
it stays in the news because it only keeps getting worse!
Coach Karl July 23, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Another sad chapter in a tragic story.
DA July 23, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Haha, moved to an "undisclosed secure location". This is serious business.
Margaret July 23, 2012 at 06:11 PM
The whole focus of all this should be that we need to protect our children! Not to save the reputation of a College. When will people realize that there is more to a University than just it's football program! Lets get our priorities straight!
Tired of Hypocrisy July 23, 2012 at 06:18 PM
The focus of this should be on Sandusky, not Paterno, not the school but on the one who was doing the molesting. No matter if there was a cover up or not, none of the others were molesting young males but Sandusky. He is responsible & the focus should be on his victims. Enough with trying to make it better by removing a statue, fining the football program, etc. it is deflecting the real cause of all this.
Incognito July 23, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Agreed.
Liz Shockley July 23, 2012 at 08:11 PM
They're criminals. The school is on a fact-finding mission to determine how far the criminal activity went and I think they're doing a respectable and timely job considering the circumstances. Ignoring the extent of the problem and those high-level people in power who were neglectful would be politically a bad move not to mention an insensitive move to the real victims in this. Just to keep this all in perspective, the real victims are not Paterno and the football team.
Not Fair July 23, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Liz that is true. The problem is the currect student body had nothing to do with this. Do you know most of these kids were 4-6 years old when this all started. Also that our current Governor and the board of Trustees didn't do anything back in 1998. What punishment are they getting. Our Governor is point fingers to everyone else but he was involved in this when nothing was done.
James Kephart Jr. July 23, 2012 at 11:05 PM
It's so easy to see how obviousy it should have been to everyone then.
gobig5 July 23, 2012 at 11:33 PM
face it. paterno is a criminal and if he was alive he would be going to jail. shame on him and what he did to enable the monster sandusky.
Incognito July 23, 2012 at 11:39 PM
I still don't understand why Corbett is not getting blamed for anything. He's such a hypocrite for saying that the university should have done more. HE was also in the position to do something and failed. Because of his high power, he could have actually made a difference.
Incognito July 23, 2012 at 11:44 PM
If he were alive, he would have been entitled to a fair trial where he could defend himself or confirm any accusations. You can't say whether or not he would be going to jail because we don't know the whole picture and never will. Everything you have (or haven't) read is biased in some way. Keep in mind, if he was forced to go to the jail, then everyone else involved should be, too, including Corbett.
Liz Shockley July 23, 2012 at 11:56 PM
I don't think anyone is blaming the students. The criminals were high-ranking representatives and employees of the college administration. And why did they do this? To protect the money and the prosperity of the football team. Oh, and to protect a pedophile. Unfortunately, they're getting hit where it hurts. My daughter goes to PSU. She's not taking this as a personal affront. I can see where the football team might be taking it poorly, however, when high-ranking administration conducts themselves so poorly, this is to be expected. As involvement is uncovered, I'm sure prosecutions will ensue so don't give up hope that those involved will get their day in court. I didn't get to read everything about Corbett's involvement. All I heard is that his investigation didn't find enough evidence.
Jeff Lugar July 24, 2012 at 01:19 AM
It's such a shame they took the statue down. It was just bowing to pressure and completely unwarranted.
Marc Lombardi July 24, 2012 at 02:45 AM
So, if they melt the statue down, how many of those See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil monkey statues do you think they could make out of it?
Rose Prendergast Miller July 24, 2012 at 04:00 AM
Many are upset because the statue is taken down, the report, and out come. Maybe we should all ignore what is happening, and do nothing about it.
Marc Lombardi July 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM
Hey...if it worked for Paterno and his crew back in 1998 I say go for it!
Kim July 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM
There was and will never be any shame is taking that statue down. Completely unwarranted?? I have a feeling you may feel differently if your child or loved one was raped by Sandusky. Paterno and the entire organization had a role in a major cover up that allowed who knows how many more children to be victimized. Before you say its "bowing to pressure" and "unwarranted", try putting yourself in the shoes of the victims and their families who may have been spared a lifetime of nightmares and pain had "St. JoePa" and his cronies decided that something was more important than football. I hardly think you'd feel it was unwarranted had your son been brutally victimized by a monster who couldve been stopped years earlier.

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