The Joe Paterno statue was removed Sunday morning from its pedestal outside Beaver Stadium, and it will be stored in an unnamed “secure location,” Penn State president Rodney Erickson announced. Erickson also said the Paterno name will remain on the university’s library.
Shortly before dawn in State College, Pa., a work crew installed chain-link fences to barricade access to Porter Road outside Beaver Stadium and covered the fence with a blue tarp.
The work crew then removed the 7-foot, 900-pound bronze statue by forklift and placed it into the lower level of the stadium. Erickson released his highly sensitive decision to the public at 7 a.m. ET Sunday.
Workers lifted the 7-foot-tall statue off its base and used a forklift to move it into Beaver Stadium as the 100 to 150 students watched, some chanting, “We are Penn State.”
The decision came 10 days after a scathing report by former FBI director Louis J. Freeh found that Paterno, with three other top Penn State administrators, had concealed allegations of child sexual abuse made against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. The Freeh report concluded their motive was to shield the university and its football program from negative publicity.
Meanwhile, the NCAA said that that it would levy “corrective and punitive measures” against Penn State. The organization announced Sunday that it would spell out the sanctions on Monday but disclosed no details.
The Paterno family issued a statement only hours later saying the statue’s removal “does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State community.”
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