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Mixed reactions as 'Paternoville' changed to 'Nittanyville' - abc27 WHTM

Mixed reactions as 'Paternoville' changed to 'Nittanyville'

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) -

The November air was bitter over Happy Valley last year. First came news of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Then, legendary coach Joe Paterno was fired.

Now, there has been a change of seasons as that bitter November air has been replaced with a fury of summer heat as the reminders of a man once revered as a coaching legend are being chipped away.

The campsite where students would brave the elements to wait for football game tickets, fondly known as "Paternoville," a place where JoePa was known to bring pizza and snacks for the students, is now called "Nittanyville."

Student government officers made the decision Monday, saying, "It's a new era of Nittany Lion football" and "by changing the name to Nittanyville we want to return the focus to the overall team and the thousands of students who support it."

News of the name change traveled quickly and Penn State students home for the summer have mixed feelings about the decision. Kristen Leader says the change could allow students and fans to move forward from the child sex abuse scandal.

"It's bringing our name up again, and helping to move past this and the mistakes these few men made and still focusing on what is right and just in the entire university," she said.

Others are saying Joe Paterno's name might have been removed from the sign outside Beaver Stadium, but his legacy won't be removed as easily. Billy Boyer, who was helping his son move into Penn State on Tuesday, said he thinks reminders of the late coach, including the statue at the stadium, should stay.

"A lot of mistakes were made, but it doesn't overshadow all the good that Joe Paterno did over the years," he said.

Boyer's son, Brady, a student at Penn State, agrees.

"I think he did too much good for this campus to take it down," he said.

Still, others continue to demand change in wake of the recently released Freeh Report, which indicates Joe Paterno and others concealed allegations of child sex abuse since 1998.

A small airplane pulling a banner flew over Beaver Stadium Tuesday afternoon. Offering thoughts about a scandal concealed in backroom meetings in the wide-open sky of Happy Valley.

The banner reading, "Take down the statue or we will" flew over the very field that for generations the Nittany Lions have fought on to defeat their challengers, a place where even in death, Joe Paterno and his legacy are still engaged in battle.

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