More on the Paterno Statue (With Photos)
I stopped by the Paterno statue twice yesterday and again this afternoon, just to shoot some photos before and after the statue’s removal. I’ve put about about a dozen images into the slide show below.
I don’t know what to tell you about all of this. Emotions are running so high right now, and I don’t think too much useful dialogue goes on when that’s the case. On the one side, there’s been some pretty hateful stuff being said about Penn State and Penn Staters, especially since the Freeh report was released. As Sports Illustrated‘s Michael Rosenberg said in an excellent piece on Thursday: “The scandal at Penn State is so outrageous that any level of outrage seems appropriate. And as a result, any level of punishment seems appropriate. Fines. Firings. Scholarship reductions. Frogs. Hail. Boils. Locusts.” (Rosenberg goes on, by the way, to argue that the NCAA death penalty is not called for here.)
On the other side, there are many Penn Staters who loved and still love Joe Paterno, are unconvinced of his culpability in the Sandusky scandal, point out that the Freeh report is not necessarily gospel, and think the University is throwing Paterno under the bus. For them, today’s removal of the statue was painful, a punch in the gut.
For what it’s worth, I continue to think that the statue had become a safety concern, an accident waiting to happen. Why? Because, as I said above, emotions are running so high right now. All it would take is one really angry person who happens to also be unstable mentally and … well, I don’t want to think about what could have happened. There may well have been other reasons to remove the statue, especially with the NCAA news conference looming tomorrow, but it’s hard to argue with the safety one.
Among the more than two dozen comments so far on my previous post about the statue, there is this one that stood out for me. It’s from Barbara Morgan-Cicippio ’74, who writes:
The statue is just a thing. I seem to remember that Coach did not like it and did not want it displayed anyway. We need to move past caring about things. I do not need a statue or a football team for that matter to remind me of my alma mater, I have memories for a life time.
We are being crucified and called Pedophile University. We all know that is not true and I think we need to concentrate our efforts in more productive ways. The court of public opnion has convicted us to the man. Please let’s all expend our energy on more important matters concerning our Alma Mater. We still are, it should not matter what anyone else thinks says or does, we are Penn State and nothing they can do will take that away. Let’s put our collective heads together and find a way forward with honor.
I hope Penn Staters will give some thought to her wise words.
Anyway, below are some images from the statue yesterday and from the … non-statue, I guess you’d call it? … today.
(And, on a lighter note, one of the photos is of a woman taking a picture of her dog next to the statue. Extra-credit bonus points if you can name the breed. It’s one I had never heard of until yesterday.)
Tina Hay, editor