The statue of Penn State’s late, disgraced former football coach Joe Paterno has been taken down, after university officials announced early Sunday their decision to remove it.
“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 and beyond,” university president Rodney Erickson said in a statement. “I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse.”
The decision comes on the heels of a damning 267-page report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh–which concluded Paterno concealed information about former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of underage boys–and a day before the NCAA announces sanctions against the school and its football program.
Early Sunday, construction workers placed a blue moving blanket over the statue’s head outside Beaver Stadium on the State College, Pa., campus.