Report: Ex-PSU coach starts campaign
A former Penn State assistant football coach has launched a campaign to have Joe Paterno's name reinstated to the Big Ten championship trophy, The Daily Collegian reported Friday.
Booker Brooks, who served on Paterno's staff from 1968 to 1983, is urging former Penn State players to contact Big Ten commissioner James Delany in an effort to get the iconic coach's name back onto the conference's top football award.
Delany announced in November during the immediate aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal that Paterno's name would be removed from the Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy, originally named after the legendary Penn State coach and fellow Hall of Fame coach Amos Alonzo Stagg.
In his announcement, Delany said "the trophy and its namesake are intended to be celebratory and aspirational, not controversial."
Brooks claims his efforts to reach Delany over the last two months have fallen on deaf ears.
The former wide receivers coach said the Big Ten commissioner not only failed to respond to his initial letter sent Feb. 9, but also declined to return several phone calls.
"If he had responded to me and just said 'no,' I don't think I would have stopped [the campaign]," Brooks told the paper. "But I would at least feel better knowing he was at least considering putting [Paterno's] name back on the trophy."
Brooks said he has sent emails to 74 former Penn State players, urging them to send certified letters to Delany, demanding Paterno's name be reinstated to the trophy.
Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman told The Daily Collegian the conference had no comment on the matter due to the ongoing investigation.
Paterno ran the Penn State football program for 46 years, becoming major college football's all-times wins leader just weeks before getting fired by the university's board of trustees amid the Sandusky scandal.
He died in January at age 85 due to complications from lung cancer. He was diagnosed with the disease a week after he was fired.