Paterno Statue Taken Down

By Eric Dutkiewicz

July 22, 2012 Updated Jul 23, 2012 at 8:57 AM EDT

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - In yet another blow to the legacy of college football's winningest coach ever, Joe Paterno's statue taken down Sunday at Penn State University.

Penn State president Rodney Erickson ordered the statue's removal ten days after former FBI director Louis Freeh's probe that found top Penn State officials, including Paterno, attempted to cover up child sex abuse allegations against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

"Coach Paterno's statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our university and beyond," Erickson said in a statement. "It is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location."

Covered in a tarp, toppled to its side and carried off by a forklift, the removal of the Paterno statue outside Beaver Stadium is the recent sign of a tarnished legacy stemming from the Sandusky scandal.

Sandusky was convicted last month on 45 of 48 counts against him, and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

In the fallout of the grand jury investigation against Sandusky, Penn State's board of trustees fired Paterno and then-president Graham Spanier. Athletic director Tim Curley and finances vice president Gary Schultz were charged with perjury; Curley is on administrative leave and Schultz resigned.

Paterno was diagnosed with cancer and died weeks later.

Now the focus switches to Penn State's football program, and possible sanctions for the team. NCAA president Mark Emmert said in a PBS interview last week that the "death penalty," which could shut down the football team for a year.

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