Mike Kueber's Blog

July 22, 2012

The Joe Paterno statue comes down

Filed under: Sports — Mike Kueber @ 2:10 pm
Tags: ,

Early this morning, the Joe Paterno statue that has been standing outside Beaver Stadium since 2001 was taken down on the orders of Penn State president Rod Erickson.  According to Erickson, the statue “has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing.

My initial reaction – this action is another example of a rush to judgment by a lynch mob.  Freeh’s report was a one-sided prosecutorial-style indictment, and to take action based on that report, without waiting for the defense side to present its version, is rash and unjustified.  (There are reports that the Erickson was taking a hard line against Paterno in order to avert an NCAA death penalty against Penn State football.) 

My second reaction – I understand the argument that the statue has become divisive instead of unifying, and thus is no longer serving its purpose.  But I question whether the underlying facts of the argument are true.  Although the media is up-in-arms about Paterno, I wonder if the Penn State fans are.  If Erickson has misjudged the sentiments of the Penn State faithful (something that college presidents are wont to do), his tenure as Penn State will be brief.

My final reaction is that governmental entities should stop commissioning statues and naming things after people, especially those who are still alive.  Of course, such a proscription shouldn’t apply to the Earl Campbell statue at DKR stadium.



  1. The fact that there were Penn State fans saying, “Take it down, or we will!” tells that it was a problem for at least some of them. If the same thing had happened at my alma mater, I would want it removed, given the current information.

    Comment by Bill — July 22, 2012 @ 2:57 pm | Reply

    • I haven’t heard whether the guy who paid for a plane to pull that sky-message was a fan.

      Comment by Mike Kueber — July 22, 2012 @ 4:08 pm | Reply

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