Joe Paterno Statue: Penn State Fans' Ignorance Shouldn't Keep Statue Standing

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, PA - JANUARY 22: A man reaches out to touch the statue of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno outside of Beaver Stadium on January 22, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. Community members paid their respects after hearing of Paterno's death due to complications from lung cancer. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The love for Joe Paterno at Penn State is too strong for its own good. The fans and alumni blindly followed him when he was alive, and in death his legend has continued to grow in Happy Valley. 

Unfortunately, that love and admiration is clouding the judgment and rationale of these people, especially when it comes to keeping a statue of Paterno standing at Beaver Stadium. 

According to a report from CNN, Penn State administrators are mulling over what they want to do with the bronze monument and will reach a verdict soon. 

A decision will be made on the future status of the embattled statue of former head football coach Joe Paterno "within seven to 10 days," Penn State spokesman David La Torre told CNN on Wednesday.

Despite the impending decision, fans are taking drastic action to prevent any harm from befalling Paterno's statue. 

USA Today reported that students are engaged in a "statue watch" thanks to an airplane that flew over the statue demanding it be taken down or else...

That is a drastic, cold sounding way of saying what a vast majority, at least I would assume, of people are thinking. 

Paterno's legacy is going to be whatever it is in the eyes of Penn State fans and everyone else, though it will probably be different to both camps. 

His statue, however, is something that Penn State can't afford to keep up. Even if you think Paterno is getting unfairly blamed for his part in the whole Jerry Sandusky situation, the university has to see that it is representative of a time that it is desperately trying to move past. 

Fans can't turn a blind eye to this situation. Whether you love Paterno or not, we know thanks to the Freeh Report that he knew something was going on with Sandusky dating back to 1998 and did nothing to try and stop it. 

That black cloud will hang over Paterno and Penn State forever. While the university has an unenviable amount of work to do, the first thing on its agenda has to be getting rid of all traces of the Sandusky era. Like it or not, that statue is very much representative of that time. 

Paterno's statue has to go, and Penn State fans will have to hang on to the memories of Paterno instead of having that monument to remind them.