The iconic statue of legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno was taken down Sunday morning as the University’s sex scandal continues to reverberate.
The seven ft. tall, 900 lb. statue, erected at the entrance to Beaver Stadium in 2001, was loaded onto a forklift as close to 150 students chanted, “We Are Penn State.”
The decision to remove the homage to Paterno was made following the release of an internal investigation into exactly how former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky had managed to molest numerous boys over the course of many years, often on University property.
As RadarOnline.com reported, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, who headed the investigation, alleged a cover-up by Paterno, President Graham Spanier, Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz. Their failure to report Sandusky to child-welfare authorities in 2001 allowed him to continue molesting boys, the report found.
Paterno died of cancer January 22nd, two months after he was fired as coach as the Sandusky scandal was exploding around him.
His family, along with attorneys for Spanier, Curley and Schultz, vehemently deny 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.
But it’s not over. The NCAA said today it will levy “corrective and punitive measures” against Penn State. An announcement is scheduled for Monday and may be as severe as suspending the school’s football program for several years.