Penn State president: Decision not imminent on restoring Paterno statue
Penn State president Eric Barron said no decision has been made about whether to put a statue of legendary coach Joe Paterno back in front of Beaver Stadium.
The statue was taken down in 2012 after a report by former FBI director Louis J. Freeh said that Paterno along with university administrators covered up sexual abuse allegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and sentenced to 30-to-60 years in state prison.
“A decision is not imminent," Barron said about the statue to USA Today. "I will follow a process of deliberation and discussion that will take time, and until then, I don't plan to speak publicly about it."
The NCAA stripped 112 wins from Paterno's records, fined the school $60 million, placed a bowl ban on the football program and took scholarships away. The NCAA agreed to restore Paterno’s victories last month and gave the school its full complement of scholarships.
Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour says she doesn’t know where the statue is, only saying that “it’s safe and protected.”
“Look, the statue was not about Joe Paterno," Angelo DiMaria, who sculpted the statue, said. "It really was not, in a big way. It was about Penn State. It was about the team, the students, the legacy that Penn State has built. That was what the statue was about."
The statue debate continues as Penn State, the NCAA and Paterno’s family head to court on Friday to resolve issues concerning the family’s lawsuit against the university and the NCAA over a consent decree made in 2012.
- Scooby Axson