The Los Angeles Times has reported that the statue of long time football coach Joe Paterno had been removed from the front of Penn State’s football stadium. The statue was an iconic symbol of how Penn State’s splendid history had fallen as a result of his inability to act in regards that his former assistant had sexually abused young boys. The removal came in the wake of many people demanding the statue be removed despite pleas of others to let it stay.
Witnesses voiced out their displeasure as they watched the 7-foot statue of Joe Paterno being lifted off its base and would be taken to its’ new home at Beaver Stadium. During an interview by Mike James of The Los Angeles Times, Jeremie Thompson, a Penn State Student, said he was disappointed with the university in giving into the pressure of people wanting the statue being removed. He also commented on the lack of transparency by the university in their attempt to cover things up. Also in the interview, Leslie Bleggie, a Penn State Alumna, voiced out her anger towards the university by the way they have been handling things. Penn State has been making knee jerking reactions without knowing all the facts and making decisions by hearsay comments. They are basically letting the haters run the university. Listen to the entire interview below.
Other people gathered to watch the removal, 100 to 150 students according to the Associated Press, chanted, “We are Penn State.” In addition, a number of those who watched the removal were angry.
Those that have been the most vocal are the Paterno family, in which they issued a statement decrying the statue’s removal. Removing the statue “does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State community. We believe the only way to help the victims is to uncover the full truth.” The family is vowing their own investigation following former FBI’s director Louis Freech’s release of his report into the manner. The family called the report, “the equivalent of an indictment — a charging document written by a prosecutor — and an incomplete and unofficial one at that.”
The ramifications will come to a head for Penn State as the NCAA will give their decision and announce “corrective and punitive measures” against the university. Though some have speculated the death penalty would not be enforced, all they can do is wait for the axe to fall. No matter what the decision may be, it is more and more likely that Joe Paterno’s legacy will be one of disgrace.