The Penn State Board of Trustees will not order the removal of Joe Paterno’s statue, at least not in the immediate future and maybe not ever.
The trustees do not want to give in to the overwhelming media pressure to have the bronze statue taken down. They also considering the many alumni and students who continue to admire the man who was a part of the program for 61 years, according to Sporting News.
The Freeh Report released last week, revealed the alleged cover-up for convicted child molester, Jerry Sandusky. Despite Paterno’s acclaimed success as one of the greatest and iconic college football coaches of all time, his involvement in keeping Sandusky's secret tarnishes the legacy of JoePa. And his statue will remain as a reminder of the pain those children suffered at the hands of Sandusky, as long as it stands on the Penn State campus.
Paterno’s role in the cover-up of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky, as alleged in the Freeh Report, makes the statue for so many a painful and infuriating reminder of Paterno’s abject failure to protect the innocence of Sandusky’s victims.
A trustee told ESPN.com:
“You can’t let people stampede you into making a rash decision. “The statue represents the good that Joe did. It doesn’t represent the bad that he did.”
Sources say other trustees believe that the statue will have to be torn down, eventually. However, most reached the consensus that it should remain standing for now. Still, others insisted that it should never be removed.
Another trustee said:
“It has to stay up, we have to let a number of months pass, and we’ll address it again. But there is no way, no way. It’s just not coming down.”
Bobby Bowden, former Florida State coach during Paterno’s reign at Penn State, is among the lead voices insisting the statue should be torn down immediately.
“You go to a Penn State football game and there’s 100,000 people down there and they see that statue and you know doggone well they’ll start talking about Sandusky,” Bowden told The Associated Press. “If it was me, I wouldn’t want to have it brought up every time I walked out on the field.”
Paterno, along with President Graham Spanier, Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz, knew of the 1998 investigation of Sandusky, which the Freeh report claims. Paterno also convinced administrators to not expose Sandusky after he was seen raping a young boy in the shower in 2001, the internal investigation concluded.
What do you think, should the statue of “Joe Pa” continue to stand as a representation of the good that he’s done for Penn State’s athletes, students, and community; or should it be torn down, as it is a symbol of some of the most evil acts a human being can do to an innocent child?