Much has been made over the last couple of days about the future of the Joe Paterno statue. Should it be torn down for the role he played in letting a monster roam free? Should it remain standing because it’s a football statue and his football accomplishments remain historical?
I’m pretty sure that with everything else going on right now, I don’t care about the statue.
I don’t think that I will ever visit the statue again. I don’t foresee taking my children to a game and having their picture taken with it. I imagine the next time I walk past it, if it is still up in September, I will glimpse over and shake my head. I may be being short-sighted on the issue, as I sometimes am, but it seems irrelevant to me right now.
What Joe Paterno did for the Penn State University and it’s football program will never be forgotten. His 409 win total is likely to never be matched. There is no denying that Joe’s accomplishments are “statue-worthy.” Also, the “players” running out of the tunnel behind that statue deserve to be honored, as well.
Having said that, I don’t know how to honor Joe Paterno’s football accomplishments right now without thinking solely of the young boys who could have been saved from the monster that is Jerry Sandusky. A monster who Joe likely looked in the eye on a weekly basis for a decade after being told of not one, but TWO “showering with boys” incidents. A monster who was provided free reign of the same athletic facilities that Joe Paterno’s accomplishments helped to build. Facilities that Sandusky ultimately used to molest young boys.
When asked about the renaming of “Paternoville”, the group’s president, Troy Weller, tells me that they are discussing the matter internally. It’s a shame that young college students are put in the position that they even have to have conversations like this, but this is the mess that we are left with. Penn Staters everywhere are making difficult decisions and having difficult conversations.
As for the statue, it’s not difficult to me at all. I simply don’t care about it.
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