Penn State University has finally made a decision on whether to keep the statue of legendary football coach Joe Paterno standing or whether to bring it down. As expected, public outcry had a huge impact on the universities decision. NFL Network reporter Kim Jones announced the news that the statue, which stands outside of Beaver Stadium, will be removed this weekend.
Am told that Penn State plans to take down the Paterno statue this weekend.
— Kimberly Jones (@KimJonesSports) July 20, 2012
The public had been calling for the Paterno statue to come down after the release of the Freeh Report, which pulled back the curtain on an extensive fourteen-year coverup of Jerry Sandusky’s child abuse at the university and it’s facilities. The coverup was led by Paterno and that had people calling for the removal of the statue.
At one point, there was a group of people who payed for a banner to fly over Penn State that read: “Take the statue down or we will.”
Immediately after the news that Paterno was involved in the coverup, the folks at the Nike Campus removed Paterno’s name from any facility it was attached to. Paterno’s alma mater, Brown University, also did the same. It was expected that Penn State would soon follow and they did.
Bringing down the Paterno statue may not seem like a big deal to some, but it was the right move and one that needed to be made.
Allowing the bronze statue to stay would show that no one at Penn State learned from the Sandusky disaster and Paterno coverup. It would send the wrong message and give off a bad vibe to the general public. It would look like the university was still saying football was bigger than anything — and it’s not.
Giving one man — Paterno — so much power at the school is what led to this type of very unfortunate situation. It’s a new time at Penn State and they had to remove the statue to signal it. This is no longer the time for a blind eye to be turned to crime and no longer will one sport control everything else at the university. No longer will they stand for harboring child rapists and covering up disgusting acts.
Now, it is a time for Penn State to hold people accountable for their actions and put their foot down to say WE ARE, Penn State and WE WILL do the right things.
Hats off to the university for making the right call on what should have been a very easy decision.