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NCAA to punish Penn State; Paterno statue removed

By Associated Press


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. >>  The NCAA announced Sunday that it will issue sanctions against Penn State in the wake of a scathing report that found that top university officials buried child sex abuse allegations against a now-convicted retired assistant and led to the tearing down of the famed statue of once-sainted coach Joe Paterno.

Shortly after Paterno's statue was removed Sunday, six months to the day after he died, the NCAA came forward to say that it will levy "corrective and punitive measures" against the school. The sanctions will be spelled out Monday, the NCAA said without disclosing further details.

NCAA President Mark Emmert hasn't ruled out the possibility of shutting down the Penn State football program in the wake of the scandal, saying he had "never seen anything as egregious."

The Paterno family issued a statement saying the statue's removal "does not serve the victims of Jerry Sandusky's horrible crimes or help heal the Penn State community."

"We believe the only way to help the victims is to uncover the full truth," said the family, which vowed its own investigation following the release of an investigative report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh that found that Paterno and three other top Penn State administrators concealed sex abuse claims against Sandusky.

The family called the report "the equivalent of an indictment — a charging document written by a prosecutor — and an incomplete and unofficial one at that."

The bronze statue, weighing more than 900 pounds, was built in 2001 in honor of Paterno's record-setting 324th Division I coaching victory and his "contributions to the university." Students chanted, "We are Penn State" as the statue came down.

Penn State President Rod Erickson said he decided to have the statue removed and put into storage because it "has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing."

"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," Erickson said in a statement.

In Washington, a White House press secretary said President Barack Obama believed "it was the right decision."

By many of those watching the statue's removal stared in disbelief and at least one woman wept, while others expressed anger at the decision.

"I think it was an act of cowardice on the part of the university," said Mary Trometter, of Williamsport, who wore a shirt bearing Paterno's image. She said she felt betrayed by university officials, saying they promised openness but said nothing about the decision until just before the removal work began.

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KekoaBradshaw wrote:
Just goes to show---don't put up statues of ANYBODY until they've been dead and buried for at least 10 years, so history can judge the total accomplishments of the person. Paterno must have had a massive ego to allow a statue of him to be raised anyway. Just think---the money spent on the statue back in 2001 could have been spent on scholarships for deserving non-student athletes to attend Penn State.
on July 22,2012 | 11:33AM
allie wrote:
good point
on July 22,2012 | 02:17PM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
If Penn State can remove the statue of Paterno, maybe Hawaii can get up the courage to remove the statue of Liliuokalani.
on July 22,2012 | 06:35PM
atilter wrote:
hmmmm - very interesting statement - to suggest an analogous relationship between the two people referenced by their respective statues. i, not being in possession of the alphabet soup credentials, may still have the ability to harbor feelings counter to mr. conklin. with an attendant research, my counter-points may be strengthened more adequately. my first point, after an initial search, deals with his place of origin prior to coming to honolulu. that may be one of the strongest factors behind his vitriol. history shows that the colonistic attitude of the initial missionary wave did great harm by beginning the snow-ball effect which resulted in the systematic loss of hawaii state lands governed by the monarch family to outsiders via questionable means (as some people believe) as "advisors". but the question is - why does he harbor such a strong perverse reverse-discrimination attitude when he is merely a fairly recent emigrant?
on July 22,2012 | 08:46PM
st1d wrote:
paterno's name remains on the library. appropriate as he hushed up the felony complaints and told everyone to be quiet.
on July 22,2012 | 11:39AM
mbrgss wrote:
HAHA, good one!
on July 22,2012 | 11:51AM
allie wrote:
on July 22,2012 | 02:17PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Let's see how soon his name will come off the Library...............do I hear any bets on the odds?
on July 22,2012 | 09:17PM
ehowzit wrote:
on July 22,2012 | 11:41AM
iwanaknow wrote:
So..................melt down Paterno's statue an make a new monument commenorating the plight of these victims? Justice is served?
on July 22,2012 | 09:20PM
st1d wrote:
watching for two things: 1. ncaa penalties and their effects on the football program; 2. dept of education action in pulling all federal student loan money from the school.
on July 22,2012 | 12:49PM
allie wrote:
The family is in denial.. They should look at the evidence and apologize to the University and the stater for the shame the old coach brought to this football school.
on July 22,2012 | 02:17PM
jjjjo wrote:
I agree. And all the people who continue to support him are sick too.
on July 23,2012 | 08:33AM
iha wrote:
why only the football program the whole sports department and the schools adminestration are to blame.the schools alumni and backers should take some blame too.
on July 22,2012 | 03:36PM
Dragonman wrote:
Its pretty clear at this point that Paterno was involved in the coverup. As time passes more facts will become public. What upsets me is that this is not a simple case of a coach not following the rules in recruiting. The people in denial just do not get it. Paterno put his football program above the well being of children who could not defend themselves against Sandusky and this went on for years with Penn State and Paterno looking the other way and allowing this disgraceful behavior to continue in order to protect Penn State. What Penn State did to protect its reputation is so bad I don't think we have a word for it in the dictionary. We are Penn State ? You have got to be kidding. If I was a student at Penn State I would be to embrased to shout out the once proud chant WE ARE PENN STATE.
on July 22,2012 | 04:13PM
atilter wrote:
it, the chant, might be a simple statement to the effect that the issue is more wide-spread and popularly "condoned" than we, the general public, can ever begin to suspect? just my hypothesizing outloud....who knows?
on July 22,2012 | 08:55PM
Dragonman wrote:
Good point
on July 22,2012 | 09:39PM
Manapua_Man wrote:
Paterno should have retired back in 1994 when his team went 12 - 0 undefeated with a victory in the Rose Bowl. He would have gone out on a good note after 30 years as head coach and he would have been canonized by now. His name would probably not have been linked to this scandal today. A shame.
on July 22,2012 | 10:44PM
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