Former Penn State players petition for Joe Paterno statue return
More than 200 former Penn State football players have sent a letter to the university’s board of trustees and President Eric Barron to profess their support for late football coach Joe Paterno.
Specifically, the letter requests that the bronze Paterno statue be returned to the school’s campus.
The statue was removed from outside Beaver Stadium in 2012 following the child sexual abuse scandal that resulted in former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s conviction on 45 counts. Paterno was fired shortly after Sandusky was charged for allegedly covering up evidence. The legendary coach died just a couple of months later.
"We have been told during the last four-plus years that the board and administration are waiting for the appropriate time to repair the damage they created," former Nittany Lions punter Brian Masella said, via The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Now is the appropriate time. Enough is enough!"
The players also asked that the university apologize to Paterno’s wife, Sue, and restore the Player’s Wall that surrounded the statue.
The university responded with this statement: "We recognize that this is emotional for many in the Penn State community, many of whom differ, yet feel strongly about this issue."
The statement also said there would be "a time and place" to acknowledge Paterno’s legacy, though no timeline was specified.