Erickson: Paterno Statue Had To Come Down

July 22, 2012

Jerry Sandusky, PSU Football

Joe Paterno’s statue was torn down this morning – just ahead of NCAA sanctions.

Joe’s gonna go. A statement from Penn State President Rodney Erickson:

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.

And what of the library bearing his name?

On the other hand, the Paterno Library symbolizes the substantial and lasting contributions to the academic life and educational excellence that the Paterno family has made to Penn State University. The library remains a tribute to Joe and Sue Paterno’s commitment to Penn State’s student body and academic success, and it highlights the positive impacts Coach Paterno had on the University. Thus I feel strongly that the library’s name should remain unchanged.

He concludes:

I fully realize that my decision will not be popular in some Penn State circles, but I am certain it is the right and principled decision. I believe we have chosen a course that both recognizes the many contributions that Joe Paterno made to the academic life of our University, while taking seriously the conclusions of the Freeh Report and the national issue of child sexual abuse. Today, as every day, our hearts go out to the victims.

That’s the best part of the whole lengthy statement. It’s probably no coincidence that this was announced early Sunday morning, when Penn Staters likely don’t have their rioting shoes on.

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