This morning a space outside Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania is absent a long-standing statue of Joe Paterno. The statue was removed and placed in storage. With a significant police presence, reports indicate the event was peaceful, although at one point chants of “We Are… Penn State,” “JoePa forever” and “We love you JoePa” erupted. According to a statement from the University, the statue has become a lightning rod of controversy and national debate, including the role of big time sports in university life. “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.” The Paterno library will remain.
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