The statue of the once-sainted football coach, Joe Paterno, which stood proud outside the football stadium of Penn State University was removed which in effect eliminated an integral aspect of the iconic figure accused of burying child sex abuse allegations against a retired assistant.
— GingerRutledge (Ginger Rutledge) (@GingerRutledge) Mon Jul 23 2012
The university said Sunday that it will take down the larger-than-life monument in the face of an investigative report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh that found the late coach, along with three top Penn State administrators, concealed the abuse claims against Jerry Sandusky more than a decade ago in order to shield the university and its football program from negative publicity.
Police together with construction vehicles arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning. They then barricaded the street and sidewalks near the statue, erected a chain-link fence and concealed the statue with a blue tarp.
A live video feed posted on the website of the Centre Daily Times of State College showed workers in white hard hats behind a blue plastic partition and the sound of jackhammers while a forklift stood nearby with a large strap attached to the statue. About 100 to 150 students had gathered to watch.
According to Rod Erickson, the president of Penn State, it was best that the statue be removed and kept in storage because it “has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing.”