Joe Paterno statue taken down at Penn State - abc27 WHTM

Joe Paterno statue taken down at Penn State

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Joe Paterno's statue has been removed from outside Penn State's football stadium.

Penn State President Rodney Erickson made the decision to remove the statue from outside Beaver Stadium, issuing a statement Sunday morning.

Construction vehicles and police arrived just after 4:00 a.m. They barricaded the street and sidewalks in the area, and put up a chain-link fence. They covered it with a blue tarp, concealing the statue.

Workers then lifted it off its base and used a forklift to move it into the stadium. While this was going on, more than 100 students chanted "We are Penn State."

Erickson said the statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing. This comes after the release of the Freeh Report in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The report named Paterno as part of the university's cover-up.

All weekend students, alumni and other fans lined up to get their picture taken with the statue.

In a statement, Erickson said, "I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse."

Erickson says Paterno's name will remain on the library because it "symbolizes the substantial and lasting contributions to the academic life and educational excellence that the Paterno family has made to Penn State University."

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