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Is it – and will it always be – too soon to celebrate Joe Paterno's career?

PSU is planning an anniversary celebration. A reporter for ESPN called the university's move 'tone deaf.'
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    Paterno statue that has since been removed

    |Getty Images

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    Paterno, amid the Sandusky sex abuse scandal, in 2011.

    |Getty Images

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    Paterno in younger years.

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Penn State legend and former football coach Joe Paterno has not been entirely erased from the university's campus. After allegations of child sexual abuse against retired coach Jerry Sandusky, the statue of Jo-Pa prominentlydisplayed outside Beaver Stadium was removed. His likeness, once on everything from Milano bread billboards to refrigerator magnets, is hardly seen on campus.

Paterno went from king to a man with a sullied reputation hanging in the stocks. Penn State, however, has decided it is now safe to celebrate the career of the former football coaching phenomenon.

Once again a trending topic on Twitter, tweets about Joe Paterno are mostly negative.


ESPN sports journalist ReceDavis called the move "tone deaf."

On Sept. 17, Penn State University will honor the "winningest coach in FBS history (409 victories)" bycommemorating the 50th anniversaryof the late coach's first win in 1966 against Maryland,PennLive reported.

According to the student-runblog Onward State, Paterno has not been celebrated by the university since his firing in 2011.

Although never convicted in connection with the Sandusky scandal, Paterno was implicated and left his Happy Valley kingdom in disgrace.

It was believed that the abuse allegations went back as far as 1994, but an insurance dispute over who should pay — the university or its insurance company — the 26 men who say Sandusky abused them when they were kids revealed more.In May, unsealed documents suggested Paterno knew about Sandusky's crimes as far back as 1976, but did nothing, NBC reported at the time.

The Paterno Foundation already had a Sept. 16 private celebration of the anniversary of Paterno'sfirst game as head coach at Lubrano Park in State College, ESPN reported.Penn State alum and university trustee Anthony Lubranois one ofPaterno's supporters who have advocated for official recognition of the anniversary from Penn State.

 

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