Downtown State College will have new Joe Paterno statue
Nearly two years ago, the iconic Joe Paterno statue outside Beaver Stadium was removed as the NCAA prepared to levy heavy sanctions against Penn State for its role in the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.
A little more than three years later, there will be a new Paterno statue in State College.
The statue, a bronze Paterno seated on a bench, is scheduled for November 2015 and will be erected outside Tavern Restaurant in downtown State College.
The project, currently called "Joe’s Bench," will be renamed "Reflections" when it is finished and is independent of Penn State University.
"There’s been some level of frustration among Penn Staters with what happened with the statue at the stadium," Ted Sebastianelli, one of the project’s organizers and former president of the Penn State Football Letterman’s Club, told Onward State. "We wanted to come up with a way to honor Joe for all that he did for the State College community. It wasn’t just the university he impacted — it was the whole town."
Initial plans also included a statue of Paterno’s wife, Sue, but she was not interested, Sebastianelli said, and the Paterno family has no involvement with this project.
Penn State plans to honor Paterno in some way in the future, according to Onward State, but Sebastianelli said that had no effect on this decision made by private Penn State supporters.
"We don’t need to wait for the university to make a decision," Sebastianelli said. "There’s a culture of people in State College that clearly appreciates what Joe has done. Our alumni always want to know how he will honor him. This is something we can do for State College while getting Penn Staters from around the country involved.
"This has nothing to do with the university. We are doing this on our own."