Statue of Joe Paterno
|Artist||Angelo Di Maria|
|Dimensions||2.1 m (7 ft)|
|Location||State College, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
Joe Paterno is a bronze sculpture of Joe Paterno, former head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team. It was located on the northeast side of Beaver Stadium on the campus of the Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pennsylvania until it was removed in 2012 in the aftermath of the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. The statue was commissioned by friends of Paterno and his wife Sue in recognition of his contributions to the university and was unveiled on November 2, 2001. It was sculpted by Angelo Di Maria of Reading, Pennsylvania and took 2–3 months to complete.
The statue is 7 feet (2.1 m) high and weighs 900 pounds (410 kg). It was accompanied by a stone wall in three sections. The left section of the wall read, "Joseph Vincent Paterno: Educator, Coach, Humanitarian". The center section showed a bas-relief of players running behind Paterno. On the right was a quote from Paterno, "They ask me what I'd like written about me when I'm gone. I hope they write I made Penn State a better place, not just that I was a good football coach." The right section also featured plaques with lists of games Paterno had coached at Penn State from 1966 to 2011.
Following the 2011 Penn State child sex abuse scandal, there were widespread calls for the statue to be removed, including by Paterno's friend and longtime Florida State coach Bobby Bowden. At one point, an anonymous individual chartered a plane to fly over State College for several hours with a banner that read Take the Statue Down or We Will.
On July 22, 2012, six months after Paterno's death, the university announced it had removed the statue and "store[d] it in a secure location", citing that it had become a "source of division and an obstacle to healing". The accompanying plaques, bas-relief, and quotations were removed as well. According to Penn State President Rodney Erickson, "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The area where the statue once stood has since been replaced by trees.
- "Statue of Joe Paterno Mounted Outside of Beaver Stadium". Penn State Official Athletic Site. CBS Interactive. November 2, 2001. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "Vandals steal glasses from JoePa statue". Associated Press. ESPN. January 7, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2012.
- Layden, Tim (January 30, 2012). "Joe Paterno 1926—2012: He was the winningest coach in major college football, an advocate for blending sports and academics to create the true student-athlete, and an iconic American sports figure—until an error in judgment clouded his legacy". Sports Illustrated. SI.com. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
- Mitchell, Houston (2012-07-13). "Joe Paterno's statue should be removed, Bobby Bowden says". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- Hinton, Matt (2012-07-17). "Aerial banner warns Penn State to remove Paterno statue, 'or we will'". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- Erickson, Rodney (July 22, 2012). "Penn State president issues statement related to Paterno statue". Penn State University. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
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. For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location. 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.
- "Joe Paterno statue removed from outside Penn State University's Beaver Stadium". ESPN. 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- Thompson, Charles (July 22, 2012). "Paterno statue comes down in a stealth move; onlookers mourn peacefully". The Patriot News. Pennlive.com. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
- "Former site of Joe Paterno statue now features trees". Associated Press. USA Today. July 30, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2012.