Penn State Taking Down Paterno Statue
Crews have blockaded area outside Beaver Stadium
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2012 6:39 AM CDT
The statue of former Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno stands outside Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa., in this July 13, 2012 file photo.   (Gene J. Puskar)
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(Newser) – Penn State is taking down the tarnished statue of longtime coach Joe Paterno, reports the AP. The university's president, Rod Erickson, has confirmed that he has given the order to remove the iconic statue, and a chainlink fence is blockading the area outside Beaver Stadium this morning. "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," said Erickson in a statement today.

Some 20 construction workers, two dump trucks, a flatbed truck, and a forklift are present, as are about 20 police officers—the move won't sit well with Paterno's many remaining supporters, notes the AP. The 7-foot statue weighs more than 900 pounds and was unveiled in 2001 in honor of Paterno's "contributions to the university." It became increasingly divisive in the wake of the Freeh Report's finding that Paterno helped cover up and enable Jerry Sandusky's sexual abuse of young boys.