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The statue of Joe Paterno on Penn State's campus was taken down Sunday morning, and with "crippling" sanctions on the way Monday morning, the last thing Penn State and Joe Paterno fans want to see is a high-profile, influential person piling on. But if recent polls are to be believed, about half the country cares what this person says. From CNN reporter Stephanie Gallman, who's in Aurora, Colo. in the aftermath of Friday morning's movie theater shooting:
Chances are, a reporter just asked Obama his take on this morning's developments. I can't help but feel as if he might lose some votes in Pennsylvania come November, if anyone remembers this.
All is not well in Happy Valley, as Joe Paterno's statue was removed Sunday in response to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal that has taken over Penn State University. Worse is yet to come as the NCAA prepares to announce potentially crippling sanctions to the football program Monday morning.
The players will take most of the brunt for the actions of four men who covered up years of on-campus sexual abuse. Current players and alumni took to Twitter on Sunday to defend themselves and make it known that they stand by the program through thick and thin.
The hotter the fire, the stronger the steel.— Matt McGloin (@McGloinQB11) July 22, 2012
Whatever is decided-I hope such decision are made 2 support the victims & promote healing 4 ALL affected-and not to just simply punish PSU— Adam Taliaferro (@Tali43) July 22, 2012
No one speaking about the current team we worked to damn hard to not get a chance to fight for what we been working so hard for— Stephon Morris (@12darKnights) July 22, 2012
Penn State Tight End RT @GarryGilliam89: No matter what happens I'm staying at Penn State ...— Onward State (@OnwardState) July 22, 2012
Finally, former quarterback Daryll Clark summed up how we are all feeling about as succinctly as anyone can:
I really can not believe this shit— Daryll Clark (@CaptainClark17) July 22, 2012
If an event has happened in the Penn State scandal story, then the family of Joe Paterno has released a statement about it. Sunday morning, the statue of the fallen coach outside Beaver Stadium was removed and placed in storage, and thus a statement followed.
Tearing down the statue of Joe Paterno does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky's horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State Community. We believe the only way to help the victims is to uncover the full truth. The Freeh report, though it has been accepted by the media as the definitive conclusion on the Sandusky scandal, is the equivalent of an indictment - a charging document written by a prosecutor - and an incomplete and unofficial one at that.
To those who truly want to know the truth about Sandusky, it should matter that Joe Paterno has never had a hearing; that his legal counsel has never been able to interview key witnesses, all of whom are represented by lawyers and therefore unavailable; that there has never been an opportunity to review critical evidence which has not been made public; that selective evidence and the opinion of Mr Freeh is treated as the equivalent of a fair trial. Despite this obviously flawed and one-sided presentation, the University believes it must acquiesce and accept that Joe Paterno has been given a fair and complete hearing. We think the better course would have been for the University to take a strong stand in support of due process so that the complete truth can be uncovered.
It is not the University's responsibility to defend or protect Joe Paterno. But they at least should have acknowledged that important legal cases are still pending and that the record on Joe Paterno, the Board and other key players is far from complete.
The part about victims is certainly true. Other items on the list of things that don't serve Jerry Sandusky's victims include releasing statements, challenging the findings of an internal investigation, defending the legacy of a football coach, promising to retire after a season instead of immediately, or many other decisions that have been made throughout this story.
Or, you know, leaving a statue up instead of taking it down.
You will not see a better photo of Joe Paterno's statue being removed than the one Centre Daily Times photographer Christopher Weddle took on Sunday morning.
Paterno's statue being shrouded in the blue his teams wore proudly for more than half a century, its arm raised and the single index finger extended to show the world who is number one? The symbolism is obvious, and Weddle may well be up for photojournalism prizes at the end of the year because of it.
Paterno's statue was removed early Sunday morning, with a statement released by Penn State president Rodney Erickson explaining that leaving it standing would have made it "a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse." It has been taken inside Beaver Stadium, where it will likely be stored indefinitely.
The removal of Joe Paterno's statue is beginning posthaste in State College. After a Sunday morning statement from Penn State's president, crews are currently on site at the statue and beginning the process of removing it, according to Onward State.
What's more, there is live Ustream video of the Paterno statue being removed, which, hey, 2012 (via The Big Lead):
The statue of Paterno, unveiled in 2001, is seven feet tall and weighs 900 pounds, so it is no surprise that a forklift is on the scene to assist in its removal. Crews have put up a blue barricade around the statue to prevent onlookers from interfering with the removal process — but it's not hard to imagine that the barricade also serves to prevent the removal from taking place in full sight of the public.
The statue will be put into storage inside Beaver Stadium.
The statue of Joe Paterno on Penn State's campus that has been at the heart of the most recent contentious debate in Happy Valley will be removed, Penn State president Rodney Erickson announced in a statement on Sunday morning.
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.
Paterno's statue was unveiled in November 2001, and seen as a symbol of the Nittany Lions' legendary coach, whose commitment to doing things correctly and avoiding NCAA violations was a much-trumpeted aspect of the Penn State program.
But revelations about Jerry Sandusky's serial sexual abuse of children, and Paterno's role in the botching of an investigation into Sandusky, called Paterno's integrity into question — and made the statue a flashpoint for both critics and defenders of the coach, who passed away in January.
After a pair of surprising reports Friday that Penn State's Board plans to have its on-campus Joe Paterno statue torn down this weekend after the latest round of disappointing details about the coach's life choices, the Board has denied it's made that decision:
Penn State Board member Capt. Ryan McCombie said "We did no such thing," re: voting to take down Joe Paterno statue, made no more comment.— Laura Nichols (@LC_Nichols) July 20, 2012
McCombie was elected as a Trustee this year.
University officials deny things and then do them all the time, so let's still wait and see what happens. It's important that we pay a great deal of attention to the statue, which is a statue.
Previously, the school said it would wait and see, the sculptor called for a focus on what really matters here, students camped out to defend the piece of bronze, and a plane flew overhead threatening to tear it down.
If Joe Paterno's statue is going to come down, it could reportedly happen as soon as this weekend.
Joe Paterno was treated like a deity, but he was never perfect, even before the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Still, he deserves that statue on Penn State's campus. Bomani explains that and more in this week's Monday Morning Jones.
Following the release of the Freeh Report, the fate of the Joe Paterno statue outside Beaver Stadium has been questioned. Some have called for the removal of the statue, but Saturday the Penn State Board of Trustees decided the statue would remain, according to a report from ESPN.com.
The report says the trustees decided to not remove the statue in an attempt to avoid offending alumni and students.
"You can't let people stampede you into making a rash decision," a trustee said. "The statue represents the good that Joe did. It doesn't represent the bad that he did."
Their decision, however, may not be a permanent one, as according to the report some trustees said they believed the statue should eventually be removed. All agreed it should remain for the time being.
"It has to stay up," said another trustee. "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."