Saturday, July 21, 2012

Penn State must take down Paterno statue

Jenni Kahler, right, holds her daughter, Emma, 4, as they have a photo taken with the statue of Joe Paterno located outside Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa., Friday July 20, 2012. (AP Photo)
There have been conflicting reports today about whether or not Penn State is going to take down the statue of Joe Paterno that, for now, still stands outside its football stadium. Apparently, the latest is that the decision has not been made as of yet.

It needs to be made, though, and soon. The statue needs to come down.

For all that Paterno didn't do to stop child molester Jerry Sandusky, that statue needs to go. It is no longer a reminder of all the good that Paterno did. It is a symbol of the Sandusky era, too. The fact that Paterno is called a "humanitarian" in the words that are linked with the statue can either make you sad or make you furious when you think about Sandusky's victims, but it certainly doesn't make you think of Paterno's charity work.

I won't go into a long argument here for the statue's removal, as every time I write anything about Sandusky I feel sick inside. But if you're in the mood to read such an argument, CBSSports columnist Gregg Doyel (a former Observer colleague) offers a good one here.

Gregg and I have disagreed on a number of sports issues over the years. But he's undeniably a gifted writer, and on this point we are in total agreement. Former FSU coach Bobby Bowden has also opined that the statue should be removed (some Penn State students are apparently "guarding" it to make it harder to do so).

Bottom line: The statue needs to go. It doesn't need to be destroyed -- if the Paterno family wants it, let them have it. But it doesn't need to be in front of the Penn State football stadium, symbolizing an era that now turns people's stomachs.

(UPDATE: By order of Penn State's highest-ranking official, the statue was removed on Sunday, July 22nd, in the early morning and for now will be stowed in an undisclosed "secure location.")

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Agree 100 % Scott, the statue needs to go. Good article !

Anonymous said...

Ok first I'am not a Paterno fan. Second I HATE anybody that mess with kids period. A person spend his whole life making a name for himself and for us to throw dirt on his name and he's not here to defend myself. An from what I heard from the report there not one single report that Mr. Paterno said cove this up. I heard report on people said they talk to Mr. Paterno. But we all know that people can misunderstand your words or just plain lie. I think any person that hurt and child is the worst, so before I would throw dirt on a once great man. I'll need solid prof

Anonymous said...

Paterno knew and the evidence says that he knew!!! Take the statue down and burn it and burn his lying son with it!!!

Anonymous said...

It is easy to villify a dead man that cannot defend himself. I am no fan of Paterno or Penn State, but what I am seeing here is a gang mugging.

From what has been released to the public, Paterno did not see what happened and reported to higher authorities at the school. Should he have called legal authorities? He did not see anything from all accounts. He should have told the younger coach to go to authorities.

Bottom line, Scott you are attacking a dead man that cannot defend himself. Let it rest.

ex Paterno fan said...

I agree. This is by far the worst sports scandal in the history of American sports.

Take the statue down. Shut the football program down.

The cover up, lead by Paterno, was purely to maintain the image of the football program, insure recruiting is not effected, keep the money flowing in from supporters, and for Paterno to become the all time winningest coach.

Total lack of institutional control.

Meanwhile young vulnerable boys were being raped in the the locker room for at least 14 years, Paterno and everyone else in charge knew all about it, and did nothing.

Not even close, worst scandal ever. Shut it down!

Anonymous said...

Can anyone say Taliban and the destruction of centuries old buddhas?

This is rash, mob mentality. I have to believe that JoPa kicked Sandusky's butt at least twice over this. Yes JoPa was wrong but let's calm the hysteria

Anonymous said...

Paterno had time to defend himself before he passed away...starting back in 1998 when he should have first reported Sandusky to the local authorities and banned him from Penn States facilities. Saying the man cannot defend himself now is inexcusable. He had plenty of time to do so before!

Anonymous said...

The statue doesn't just honor Paterno. It has his finger raised in the "No. 1" sign. That, more than anything, symbolizes what caused the problem in the situation and the danger of hero worship and sports obsession.

Anonymous said...

@8:10, Letting it rest is what Joe and the administration did for over 10 years while Jerry corrupted those kids. Joe's legacy is clearly tarnished by all of this and that statue will do nothing but start conversations before every PSU football game about the terrible crimes committed. Bring that statue down.

Archiguy said...

Scott's not "attacking" JoePa. He's simply saying that after what happened, nobody is ever going to be able to look at that statue and not think of one of the worst things to ever happen in sports. They're certainly not going to think "about all the good he did".

JoePa knew, he couldn't NOT know, he did nothing to protect those kids and allowed 9 more victims to be created after it was first brought to his attention. He gave Jerry an office in the stadium where the attacks occurred, a place where several of the follow-on attacks occurred. He's guilty and the fact that he's dead is irrelevant.

The statue needs to go. And since many believe - rightly IMO - they ought to shut down the program for a year, that's actually letting them off easy.

Anonymous said...

If it's left up, the vigilante vandals can have a crack at it. It's a WIN-WIN!

sign me: HATES PEDOPHILES AND THEIR ENABLERS

Anonymous said...

the University report put all the blame on a dead man who can't defend himself! Good scape goat so the University can't get sued!

Anonymous said...

The statue should remain. Paterno isn't here to defend himself. He did much good in the lives of the young men who played under him. Just as the good he did may not totally offset whatever involvement he had, his involvement doesn't take away at all the good he did for the young men who played under him! Let it rest Scott. The statue should remain.

Anonymous said...

In the Freeh report, the three stooges had agreed to report to the authorities. But, after Moe talked to "coach", they decided to talk to Sandusky and get him treatment. That's strong evidence that Paterno stopped any investigation. How can anybody respect that? Freeh also reported that the lack of concern for the victims was astonishing. Seeya statue. The P family is in denial, I'm sure they'll love it.

Anonymous said...

I disagree 100%. Paterno has been been made the villian here and I don't think it is deserved at all. Lie on the person that's not around to defend himself.

Mike Wingate said...

I bet you more people want the statue to stay. Your opinion isnt everyone else's

Anonymous said...

How about they replace it with a statue of Saddam?

Anonymous said...

The grand jury investigation was in December 2010. Paterno's contract was then renegotiated to force him to retire after the 2011 season. That says that even the people who knew he had to leave allowed him to break the record for lifetime wins. The lack of concern for the victims is impossible for me to understand.
The loyalty to football seems twisted.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that all the clamor to remove the statute is by people who do not frequent PSU or have any other connection with the university. From the beginning it seems as though the whole story has been to tear down PSU and in particular tear down Joe Paterno. The Freeh report made several conclusions with no supporting evidence other than conjecture. The same is true about the statement JoePa "had to know". Thats based upon jealous feelings about the mans position and his accomplishments. There is a reason he was not charged with a crime. There is no evidence he committed one. Is the purpose to assist victums or is it to just tear down someone because of jealousy?

Anonymous said...

Joe is pointing to his Father in who is with now as a lifelong Christian who attended mass every week of his life. He donated millions plus helped 10s of 1000s of athletes from broken homes or brought excitement to millions of fans.

Those who have lied and slandered or libeled on one of the Lords chosen ones will get their just payback from the Creator who he is pointing to and acknowleding as his Father in heaven.

We pity those pagan heathen ones who have tampered with Gods appointed ones otherwise they would not be where they were and suceeded as they did. Where much is given much is expected. Nobody fought the good fight like this chosen one.

The Paterno family has disavowed the Freeh Report as false riddled with lies and inuendos.

Beware as those who call good as evil and evil as good will suffer in hell.

Why didnt Freeh talk to the real villian Sandusky and ask him if Paterno was guilty of anything? Freeh was fired as FBI head man and helped invest the Newton case. This speaks for itself.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/campusrivalry/post/2012/07/joe-paterno-family-to-form-own-group-of-experts/1

PennStateStudent said...

Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones...Or, my personal favorite, "Let ye who are without imperfection cast the first stone."

Chalk one up for the media.

Bob from Ohio said...

A federal grand jury exonerated Paterno, as he "did what he was supposed to do"...If you don't believe in the right to a fair trial, and being innocent until proven guilty, or in Double Jeopardy (being tried for the same crime/accusation twice), then you should consider living in a country where the judicial system acts the way you think: React first, and ask questions later. Dopes. In the meantime, bravo to the media, and folks like Scott Fowler for keeping the blood-lust public well-fed.