By Bobby Pollier, EnStarz | Jul 22, 2012 11:13 AM EDT
Just before dawn this morning, Penn State workers began procedures to remove the controversial Joe Paterno statue from its pedestal just outside Beaver Stadium. Soonafter, the 7 foot, 900lb bronze statue was taken down via forklift and put in the lower level of the Nittany Lions' stadium, according to ESPN. The decision had been announced to the public at 7 a.m. ET this morning.
Like Us on Facebook
According to Penn State president Rodney Erickson, it will now be kept in a "secure location." However, in some sort of a compromise, he did say that the Paterno name will in fact stay on the university's library.
The decision to remove the Paterno tribute was highly based on a shocking report conducted by former FBI director Louis J. Freeh; who found that Paterno along with three other highly regarded Penn State administrators had hid allegations of child abuse made toward former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. The now widely publicized report stated that their intentions were to protect the football program from any negative publicity.
Erickson said he has heard "many differing opinions" regarding the memorial and the maximum way to "memorialize such a revered figure." Oddly enough, his decision on the statue's removal came exactly 6 months after Joe Paterno's death.
"I now believe that, contrary to its original intention, Coach Paterno's statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our university ad beyond," he said.
"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," Erickson added.
Erickson felt that the statue would "be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse" if it was kept up.
What has made the decision harder was the philanthropy that Joe and his wife had made to Penn State; as they had contributed more than $4.5 million toward the construction of the schools library and for several scholarships.
Copyright © 2013 ENSTARZ.COM All rights reserved.