Joe Paterno’s Statue? Are You Kidding Me?

As a Penn State alumnus I am  indifferent as to whether Joe Paterno’s statue is left standing or taken down.  It is  not Penn State.  It is an inanimate piece of bronze.  I  however, do understand why people outside of Penn State, including the media, would fixate on the statue as a symbol as all that is wrong with our school and call for it’s removal. I am also personally appalled that alumni and students fighting to keep it would fixate on  something so  internally trivial and meaningless to the future of Penn State as an institution moving forward.   No rational person should need to be reminded that a statue is nothing compared to the pain, suffering and trauma endured by Sandusky’s victims.  No rational alumnus  should need to be reminded that the future of Penn State has nothing to do with a statue.  If it will make those rightly outraged see a glimmer of integrity in our school moving forward then  its a no-brainer.   It’s a ghost. It’s nothing.  Let it go.  Let’s all move forward with  positive change,  integrity and hope as a learning institution, not fighting over a piece of bronze.

6 Comments For This Post

  1. @bizshrink Says:

    Sometimes letting go is the most Brilliant thing to do.

  2. DoubleH Says:

    Well said.

  3. Dane D. Miller Says:

    Another vantage point; it's an artistic statement. Commissioned or otherwise, part of art's appeal is to create some form of reaction. Hate it, love it – esthetic is in the eye of the beholder. I find myself thinking of works by people like Andy Warhol, creating massive canvases of folks with histories that were somewhat checkered as well (Chairman Mao, etc.). The statue acknowledges a legacy of a person that was iconic – in a beloved way when it was created, and in one of infamy later. Right now it's being questioned as far as it's place on the Penn State campus because it's a poking of a recently created bruise on the school's reputation. Down the road it may actually become a better reminder of how losing sight of core ethics often results in a tarnished reputation.

  4. beth Says:

    I think inlight of the fact that Mr Paterno chose to genuflect at the almighty alter of $$$ …the statue should be cut down to the knees to show all that that is what your legacy will be reduced to when you could have chosen to be a hero to the victims of this unspeakable crime perpetrated by all those who choose to do nothing.

  5. Mark (1 comments.) Says:

    Agree. Take the thing down. Don’t continue elevating a man who should not be representative of the University. Remove the reminders of a flawed era.

  6. @JessicaClackum Says:

    Very good piece Brian. We've got the legacy Paterno left in regards to the football program and we've got the legacy left in regards to covering up a child molestation scandal. And after having read up to page 58 of the report (still working on it), I have no doubt in my mind the individuals who said they either knew nothing or did the best they could do, in fact, lied. Why? To protect the football program and to protect the millions in donations received from alumni every year.

    Coaches and athletes are human beings, they are not infallible but we live in a society where these individuals are put up on pedestals and idolized as saints. That said, they forget about why they're there in the first place. This comes from one who loves a good college football game and is affiliated with an AAU institution with a strong football program. However, there are things more important than football.

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