Late last night, two separate tweets came across my timeline, one citing a rumor and the other, a source. Both tweets indicated that the Paterno statue is likely to be removed from its perch outside of Beaver Stadium this weekend.
B1G BREAKING RUMORS: JOE PATERNO’S STATUE GOES DOWN TOMORROW NIGHT OUTSIDE PENN STATE’S BEAVER STADIUM
— Brent Seberhagen (@seberhagen) July 20, 2012
Source: Paterno statue MAY be coming down at 2am Saturday morning.Directive issued by Erickson without #PSUBoT knowledge or approval.
— Justin C ’07 (@CasaNoVApsu) July 20, 2012
Just before I put my head on my pillow, I sent an email to a friend who is the only person I know that would have any knowledge of the situation. I awoke to this in my inbox:
“Yeah man, sounds like it’s happening this weekend.”
In the wake of the resignation of former BoT Chairman Steve Garban, it appears that Penn State president Rodney Erickson has decided that now is the time to move forward. While bold, I commend Erickson on making a decision and showing the leadership that Penn State has been lacking so desperately.
While I said in a post over the weekend that I don’t care about the statue, I find myself oddly nostalgic this morning. Not to say that I disagree with the decision, just that I feel like it’s a bigger deal now than I have at any time in the last week. In a poll I posted here on VBR, asking whether the statue should stand, it is literally a 50/50 split.
Perhaps it is the right thing to do. Perhaps it is a move, made due to pressure to satisfy the masses. Maybe it’s even to get that damn plane out of the air. Whatever it is, the Joe Paterno statue will likely be gone by Monday, barring a change of heart from the school president.
My hope is that the students currently in State College, as well as the community surrounding campus be supportive, rather than act irrationally as some did back in November. Now is a time to move forward and fix the past. That will not be an easy process and this is going to be one of the difficult steps for many.
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