The scene is getting even uglier in what was once known as Happy Valley.
With the recent release of the Freeh Report implicating that former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno played a major role in the cover-up of Jerry Sandusky‘s heinous child abuse crimes, the feelings of adoration once held by the Nittany Lion faithful for the late “JoePa” are fading into disdain and even hatred.
“Tear the statue down!” has become the mantra of people all the country in reference to the statue of college football’s winningest head coach and the face of Penn State football for over half a century that looms over Beaver Stadium.
Early Tuesday morning, a banner plane flew over State College, PA, home of the Nittany Lions, threatening, “Take down the statue or we will.”
Four days ago, Penn State officials posted a guard charged with protecting the statue, but said that no decision has been made in regards to keeping memorial for the once-beloved coach.
Meanwhile, memories of Joe Paterno are slowly being erased from the memories of the Penn State faithful.
Nike recently dropped the now-shamed coach’s name from a child care center at their corporate headquarters. The halo above Paterno that was painted on a mural depicting leaders who have made on impact on the university has been erased. More recently, a PSU student group changed the name of the pre-game camp-outs from “Paternoville” to “Nittanyville.”
Slowly but surely, references to a coach of whom it was once believed could do no wrong, are being erased from memory in light on all he did, or rather didn’t, do.
Who knows if the statue will remain, and if it does, wether or not it will remain unscathed.
But if Penn State ever hopes to rebuild from the terrible tragedy that has rocked the town, the more quickly they leave the past behind, including the once-legendary Joe Paterno, the better.