Report: Joe Paterno statue coming down this weekend (UPDATED)
UPDATE: According to NFL Network reporter Kim Jones, Penn State will remove the Paterno statue some time this weekend.
A decision on whether to remove Penn State University’s statue of its late head football coach Joe Paterno will be made in seven to 10 days, a school spokesman said Wednesday, amid calls for it to be taken down in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.
The university’s board of trustees will decide in that time whether the statue will be taken from Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania, where Penn State plays its football games, spokesman David La Torre said in an email.
Critics have increased calls for the 7-foot (2.1-metre) statue to be removed following the release last Thursday of a report that criticized Paterno for his role in protecting Sandusky, a former assistant coach who was convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years.
The report by former FBI chief Louis Freeh said Paterno and other high-ranking Penn State officials covered up Sandusky’s abuse for years while demonstrating a callous disregard for the victims.
Paterno was fired by Penn State’s board in November, days after Sandusky was arrested for the abuse, and died in January of lung cancer at age 85.
The statue hails Paterno as the winningest coach in major college football history.
A small plane flew a banner around Penn State’s campus on Tuesday that read, “Take the statue down or we will.”
Sandusky, 68, awaits sentencing. He faces up to 373 years in prison.