TMZ reported this morning about the removal of the Joe Paterno statue on Penn State’s campus:
The statue was removed via forklift as 100-150 students watched, chanting, “We are Penn State.”
Erickson released a statement saying, “I now believe that, contrary to is original intention, Coach Paterno’s statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to hearing 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.”
In related news, Yahoo! Sports and CBS News have reported on breaking news from the NCAA regarding Penn State’s football program:
The NCAA has scheduled a news conference for 9 a.m. EDT at NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis Monday to announce “corrective and punitive measures” against Penn State because of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.
According to a report from CBS News, a source says those penalties will be ‘unprecedented’ and ‘I’ve never seen anything like it.’
If this inside source is correct, one could extrapolate that the punishment against PSU will be worse than what SMU experienced in 1986 when the entire 1987 football program was cancelled. However, there is speculation that the punishment may be something totally different, but equally as damaging. CBS News explains:
A source confirmed for CBSSports.com that there are indications the penalties could be so unique they would be different than any previously applied by the NCAA. They could last beyond one season.
The NCAA announced the 9 a.m. press conference in a statement Sunday morning, one saying the organization would be detailing the “corrective and punitive actions” taken against Penn State. Both Emmert and Ed Ray, Oregon State president and the NCAA Executive Committee Chair, will be present. That suggests that the committee itself may have taken the action outside of the formal investigative process…
Emmert has repeatedly raised the possibility of NCAA sanctions for Penn State, however, and in the wake of the Freeh Report’s account of the program’s failures to stop Sandusky, would not rule out the use of the death penalty.”
CBS News also references a source familiar with the process who suspects that in the wake of such penalties, the university may prefer the so-called death penalty.
What do you think? Will the removal of the Joe Paterno statue help heal the community and give some level of closure to the survivors of the horrific abuse they experienced at the hands of Jerry Sandusky, and enabled by Joe Paterno?
What punitive measures do you suspect will befall Penn State’s football program? Are they deserved?
[For commentary that suggests we’re more like Paterno than we’d like to admit, see Marcus Williams’ Sandusky, Paterno, Rick Reilly, & Me.]
Photo: John Beale/AP