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Penn State president orders Paterno statue removal

10:54 PM, Jul 22, 2012   |    comments
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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Penn State University is removing the famed statue of the late Joe Paterno outside its football stadium.

The statue of the coaching icon became a target for critics of the once-sainted football coach accused of burying child sex abuse allegations against a retired assistant.

The university said today that it will take down the larger-than-life monument in the face of an investigative report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh that found Paterno, along with three top Penn State administrators, concealed the abuse claims against Jerry Sandusky.

Construction vehicles and police arrived shortly after dawn today, barricading the street and sidewalks near the statue, erecting a chain-link fence then concealing the statue with a blue tarp.

President Barack Obama even weighed in, the White House saying the President said removing  the larger than life statue was the right thing to do.

At the Jacksonville Landing Sunday night there were mixed reactions. "Something had to be done," said Tom Loope.

Loope grew up in Wisconsin, a fan of the Badgers, a Big Ten opponent of Penn State. He supports the university's decision to get rid of the statue .

 

"A lot of issues with that , I think in order to do the right thing they had to take that down."

Sean Dolan Sr. and and Jr. talked about the Paterno statue controversy on their long drive down from Delaware Sunday before stopping overnight in Jacksonville. Dolan Jr. thinks taking down the statue wasn't necessary and won't bring closure.

" I think if you take down that statue you are choosing to forget a lot of good that Paterno did for that camus , that stadium and football program, so I can understand it but can't say I completely agree with it."

The university finds out Monday what penalties the NCAA will hand down. Loope supports the death penalty .

"For everybody to just look the other way for that many years, that's a problem, they have to do that, I think the toughest penalty they can do is what they have to do."

Dolan Sr. doesn't support the death penalty but acknowledges the NCAA should come down hard on Penn State.

"It is a shame that the program and the players are going to suffer, the kids are going to suffer, but I don't think anyone has a choice but to do what they are doing," said Dolan Sr.

A source familiar with the case tells C-N-N that when the sanctions are announced, Penn State will not get the death penalty, but will get hit in a significant, unprecedented way.

Associated Press

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