NEW YORK (WFAN) – It seems the fate of Joe Paterno’s statue at Penn State has been sealed.
Or has it?
“Am told that Penn State plans to take down the Paterno statue this weekend,” Kim Jones of the NFL Network and WFAN reported via Twitter on Friday.
Paterno, fired by the university last year amid the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, died in January. His legacy was further tarnished by a scathing report released last week by former FBI director Louis Freeh.
Veteran sportscaster Bonnie Bernstein tweeted that Penn State’s board of trustees voted to remove the statue during a conference call Thursday night. “We did no such thing,” board member Ryan McCombie told Laura Nichols of StateCollege.com.
Jones later tweeted: “Prez Rodney Erickson’s office is telling PSU donors that ‘no final decision’ has been made on statue.”
The Freeh report accused the former coach and other university officials of “repeatedly” concealing “critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse” in order to avoid bad publicity.
Many have since called for the removal of Paterno’s likeness in front of Beaver Stadium. A banner even flew above Penn State this week with the message, “Take the statue down or we will.”
Sandusky was convicted in June on 45 of 48 counts of sexual abuse against 10 boys, some within PSU’s athletic facilities.
The Paterno family plans to launch its own investigation in the wake of the Freeh report.
“The announcement of the findings by the Freeh Group is yet another shocking turn of events in this crisis,” the family said in a statement Monday. “We are dismayed by, and vehemently disagree with, some of the conclusions and assertions and the process by which they were developed. Mr. Freeh presented his opinions and interpretations as if they were absolute facts. We believe numerous issues in the report, and his commentary, bear further review.
“Our interest has been and remains the uncovering of the truth.”
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