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After months of indecision, the Penn State trustees finally stepped up and made a decision about Joe Paterno’s statue. The 7-foot, 900-pound bronze tribute to the longtime coach was carefully moved early this morning into one of Beaver Stadium’s lower levels where it will remain away from public view for an unspecified amount of time. Penn State President Rodney Erickson refused to speculate on whether it would be moved to a more public place at any point in the future, but he did offer an explanation as to why the monument had to go.
"I now believe that, contrary to is original intention, Coach Paterno's statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our university and beyond. For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location."
Not surprisingly, the decision has already drawn its share of anger and praise. Some see the removal as a needed step toward the community healing itself, while others think it represents trustees pissing on a man’s legacy thanks to outside pressure. Paterno’s family, of course, falls into the disappointed camp. Here’s what they had to say, courtesy of ESPN…
”(Removing the statue) does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky's horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State community."
The NCAA is scheduled to rule tomorrow on what punishments Penn State will face as a result of Sandusky’s crimes and Paterno and other employee’s attempts to cover them up.