ESPN reports that the 900-lb statue was erected in 2001 to commemorate “Paterno’s record-setting 324th Division I coaching victory and his ‘contributions to the university.’”
The decision to remove the statue came after the release of a report by Louis Freeh, former FBI director, that could forever tarnish Paterno’s reputation.
The report, which was issued 10 days ago, states that Paterno was involved in the coverup of allegations of child sexual abuse against Jerry Sandusky, former Penn State defensive coordinator.
Three other university administrators are also alleged to have been involved in the concealment of this information in order to avoid negative publicity for the college.
The NCAA has stated that it will levy serious sanctions against Penn State due to the scandal. These ‘corrective and punitive measures’ are expected to be announced on Monday.
Penn State president Rodney Erickson issued a statement saying:
“I now believe that, contrary to is 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. “
Many students, alumni, trustees, and football fans are outraged over the decision.
Despite the removal of the statue, Erickson stated that the Paterno name will remain on the school’s library.
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