July 23rd, 2012 by faye
The statue of the late football coach, Joe Paterno, has been removed from the front of Penn State’s football stadium on Sunday morning.
According to reports, the statue of Joe Paterno is a symbolic indication of how the prominent icon in Penn State University had fallen due to his inaction after news that his former assistant had been involved in the sexual abuse of young boys. However, the more dramatic aftermath of the incident in one of the more extreme cases in college football history may come on Monday, when the NCAA announces the “corrective and punitive measures” against Penn State University.
On Sunday, the seven-foot statue of Joe Paterno has been removed from its base and moved into the Beaver Stadium. Reports said that 100 to 150 students watched and some even chanted, “We are Penn State.” Some people who watched the removal of the statue were angry.
There has been a clear pressure to Penn State University to remove the statue in the wake of Sandusky’s sexual abuse scandal, as well as additional pressure after the release of the report from Freeh which held Joe Paterno and other three major Penn State University administrators accountable for failure to deal with the abuse case properly.
The family of Joe Paterno, who has been vocal in defending the former football coach, issued a statement criticizing the decision to remove his statue.
The removal of the statue “does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky’s horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State community,” said the statement.
“We believe the only way to help the victims is to uncover the full truth,” the family of Joe Paterno said, which promised to conduct its own investigation following the release of the report by former FBI director Louis Freeh.
The Paterno family called the report “the equivalent of an indictment — a charging document written by a prosecutor — and an incomplete and unofficial one at that.”
The police and construction vehicles arrived shortly after dawn on Sunday, barricading the sidewalks and streets near the statue of Joe Paterno, subsequently erecting a chain-link fence and concealing the statue with a blue tarp. Workers proceeded using jackhammers to free the statue and a forklift to lower it down on a flat-bed truck that rolled into the Penn State University garage bay about 100 feet away.
The NCAA did not give any indication about the details of the corrective measures they will do, but at least two media outlets reported that the college sports’ governing body will not issue a so-called death penalty and shut down the football program.
NCAA president Mark Emmert declined to rule out such possibility during an interview on PBS last week, but CNN and ESPN, quoting unnamed sources, said that it would not be the case on Monday.
The most memorable comment of Emmert from the PBS interview was that he had “never seen anything as egregious” as the Penn State University’s handling of information regarding the sexual abuse done by Jerry Sandusky.
In the eyes of the NCAA, a lack of institutional control is one of the most severe violations. It was cited in the organizations severe penalties levied against USC two years ago. USC was stripped of 30 football scholarships by the NCAA and was also held out of post-season play for two years, among the other sanctions.
But NCAA president Emmert said in the PBS interview, “This is completely different than an impermissible benefits scandal like [what] happened at SMU, or anything else we’ve dealt with.”
In 46 seasons as head football coach, Joe Paterno won a major-college-record 409 games and was loved by many in Penn State University, making the revelations about the Sandusky case all the more dramatic.