The decision whether to remove the Joe Paterno statue from outside of Beaver Stadium or move it to another location will be made by Penn State University president Rodney Erickson and not the school’s Board of Trustees, ESPN reported Friday, citing information from two unnamed trustees.
NFL Network reporter Kim Jones had reported Friday that Penn State plans to take down the statue, but a university spokesperson denied any such decision has been.
Erickson informed donors Friday that “no final decision” has been made, Jones reported.
There were reports that the board voted on the issue during a conference call Friday, but if the trustees had taken a vote during the call, it would have violated state law, which prohibits votes from being taken outside of board meetings, ESPN.com reported.
The public outcry for the removal of Paterno’s statue was sparked by the release of the independent investigation by former FBI director Louis Freeh, whose findings were made public July 12. In the report, Freeh’s investigative team revealed Paterno allegedly had detailed knowledge of activity involving Jerry Sandusky before and after Sandusky retired in 1999.
Jones, a Penn State graduate who joined NFL Network following a stint at YES Network as the Yankees’ pregame and postgame reporter, did not cite the source for the Paterno statue report.
Nike announced it would change the name of its childcare center the day the Freeh report was issued. Penn State students changed the name of the student camp the week of home football games to “Nittanyville” last week.
Paterno’s alma mater, Brown University, removed Paterno’s name from its annual award given to the school’s top freshman athlete and coaching position and is weighing whether to take the Paterno out of its athletic hall of fame. Paterno graduated from Brown in 1950.