By Scooby Axson
July 20, 2012

Fans gather around Joe Paterno's statue outside of Beaver Stadium. A decision to keep or remove that statue will reportedly be made in 72 hours. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

The fate of Joe Paterno's statue that currently sits outside of Penn State's Beaver Stadium will be made within 72 hours, reports.  That decision is to be made by Penn State president Rodney Erickson.

What to do about the statue has been a highly emotional topic among administrators and the Board of Trustees, sources said Friday. Much of the discussion has centered around how the NCAA will interpret whatever decision is made about the statue, sources said.

The Freeh report, hired to investigate any cover-up by school officials concerning the Jerry Sandusky child rape case, revealed Paterno's role in covering up child sexual abuse allegations against Sandusky. Since then, former coaches and members of the public have demanded the Paterno statue be removed immediately.

Reports have said that there are students who have been standing guard next to the statue to prevent it from being vandalized or taken away.

"It's a highly sensitive decision," one unnamed trustee said Friday. "The decision is a symbolic one. We have to be very careful about what kind of message we send."

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