Penn State University has denied taking any decision on Joe Paterno's statue, following media reports suggesting that the university planned to retain the statue in the campus.
After Freeh report was released last Thursday indicting the university's top officials including Paterno in connection with Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse case, there is a lot of debate going on whether Paterno's statue should be retained in the university campus or removed. Paterno, who was fired last November by the board of trustees, died in January this year due to lung cancer.
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Earlier, ESPN reported quoting sources that the Penn State's board of trustees has decided to keep Paterno's statue in order not to offend the students and the alumni who admired the late head football coach.
"You can't let people stampede you into making a rash decision," ESPN quoted a trustee as saying. "The statue represents the good that Joe did. It doesn't represent the bad that he did."
But the university denied any such reports and said that they haven't decided about Paterno's statue. In a statement released late Sunday night, the university stated: "Contrary to various reports, neither the Board of Trustees nor University Administration has taken a vote or made a decision regarding the Joe Paterno statue at Beaver Stadium."
Last week, Freeh report by former FBI director Louis Freeh blamed Penn State President Graham Spanier, former senior vice president of finance and business Gary Schultz, athletic director Tim Curley and Joe Paterno for repeatedly concealing the facts from authorities about Sandusky's activities and failed to protect the child victims because of fear of "bad publicity". [Click here to read the full report]
Paterno was also said to have finalized a lucrative deal just the same month last year as he testified in front of a grand jury against Jerry Sandusky, who was the assistant football coach at the university. Sandusky was arrested and convicted on 45 of the 48 counts. He is awaiting sentencing in the case.
Paterno negotiated with the Penn State officials and finalized a $5.5 million retirement package last August and other privileges such as using the university's private plane and the stadium box by Paterno and his family for the next 25 years by himself and his family, a report in the NewYork Times said.