STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — The famed statue of Joe Paterno was taken down from outside the Penn State football stadium Saturday, eliminating a key piece of the iconography surrounding the once-sainted football coach accused of burying child sex abuse allegations against a retired assistant.
Workers lifted the statue off its base and used a forklift to move it into Beaver Stadium early Sunday as the 100 to 150 students watching chanted, “We are Penn State.”
The university announced earlier Saturday that it was taking down the monument in the wake of an investigative report that found the late coach and three other top Penn State administrators concealed sex abuse claims against retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
The statue turned into a target for Paterno’s critics after former FBI Director Louis Freeh alleged a cover-up by Paterno and others that allowed Sandusky to continue molesting boys.
Sandusky was convicted last month of 45 counts of sexual abuse of 10 boys.