Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The statue of Joe Paterno was taken down from outside the Penn State football stadium Sunday as the NCAA announced it would be issuing sanctions against the university whose top officials were accused in a scathing report of burying child sex abuse allegations against a now-convicted retired assistant. Statue of Hall of Fame Penn State coach Joe Paterno taken down; NCAA to announce sanctions:
Construction vehicles and police arrived shortly after dawn Sunday, barricading the street and sidewalks near the statue, erecting a chain-link fence then concealing the statue with a blue tarp. Workers then used jackhammers to free the statue and a forklift to lower it onto a flat-bed truck that rolled into stadium garage bay about 100 feet away. . . as 100 to 150 students watched, some chanting, “We are Penn State.”
Many of those watching the removal stared in disbelief and at least one woman wept, while others expressed anger at the decision.
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Dozens later gathered to watch workers remove Paterno’s name and various plaques from the concrete walls behind the statue. Much of the work was hidden by blue tarps strung across temporary chain link fences while barricades kept observers on the other side of the street. Few watching said they understood the decision and feared what kind of punishment the NCAA would pile on.
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Penn State President Rod Erickson said he decided to have the statue removed and put into storage because it “has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing.”
“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,” Erickson said in a statement released at 7 a.m. Sunday.
He said Paterno’s name will remain on the campus library because it “symbolizes the substantial and lasting contributions to the academic life and educational excellence that the Paterno family has made to Penn State University.”
Meanwhile, the NCAA said that that it would levy “corrective and punitive measures” against Penn State in the wake of the child sex-abuse scandal involving former football assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The organization announced Sunday that it would spell out the sanctions on Monday but disclosed no details. See Penn State to face NCAA penalities.
NCAA President Mark Emmert hasn’t ruled out the possibility of shutting down the Penn State football program in the wake of the scandal, adding that he had “never seen anything as egregious.” [The last time the NCAA shut down a football program with the so-called “death penalty” was in the 1980s, when SMU was forced to drop the sport because of extra benefits violations.]
The Paterno family pulled an O.J. Simpson: they will do their own investigation into the child sexual abuse cover-up at Penn State University:
The Paterno family issued a statement only hours later saying the statue’s removal “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,” said the family, which vowed its own investigation following the release of the report by former FBI director Louis Freeh. The family called the report “the equivalent of an indictment — a charging document written by a prosecutor — and an incomplete and unofficial one at that.”
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Paterno’s family, along with attorneys for Spanier, Curley and Schultz, vehemently deny any suggestion they protected a pedophile. Curley and Schultz await trial on charges of failing to report child abuse and lying to a grand jury but maintain their innocence. Spanier hasn’t been charged. Sandusky was convicted last month of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys.