Paterno Statue Proposal Reprise

Joe Paterno Statue ProposalAlmost a year ago, I posted a proposal concerning creating a memorial statue of Joe Paterno in downtown State College. I’ve had people ask me where it came from but I never really knew. Now, this idea is heating up again, and as one would expect, not without its share of controversy, vitriol, and dare we say warm acceptance.

The proposed location for the $300,000 statue, which will be created by the sculptor Zenos Frudakis, is outside The Tavern restaurant, an old eatery and watering hole we used to reserve for special dates or otherwise for rich kids back when we were students. It is centrally located on College Avenue, a focal point for returning alumni. The target date is 2015. Funding will be generated through, among other sources.

(Now I launch into a tangential rant about “alumni“. You are not “an alumni“. Alumni is the plural of alumnus, the Latin masculine noun. Alumnae is the plural of alumna, the Latin feminine noun. Do we want to get into neuter? I guess so — we have to be all-inclusive, for diversity’s sake. Alumnum would be the singular and alumna would be the plural, the same as the feminine plural, if there was indeed such a thing as a neutered alumnus or alumna. However, to describe a mixed collection of masculine, feminine, and neuter ex-students, we use alumni, because the Romans hadn’t yet been curtailed by the Feminazis into butchering their language for the sake of so-called political correctness, as it were. End of grammar Nazi rant coupled with male Chauvinist piguousness.)

But I digress. :)

Here are some links where you can view various versions of this story.

That’s enough, already!

If I could get Twitter to do its thing properly, I’d show you some of the negative reactions I observed there, but I cannot seem to get it to generate the “embed” code today.


  1. Joe says

    Well there will be a shit storm from certain “journalists” in the digital and print media world, but I’m past caring what people say. If someone wants to put a statue of JP sitting on a bench on their property and people are willing to donate their $$ to it, who am I to bitch. Besides maybe it will appease PS4RS’s and the other unorganized Paternoistas out there to a certain extent and get them to STFU! Personally I would have had the bronze Paterno eating a cone of ice cream rather than reading the Aeneid. More of a human touch I suppose.

    • says

      The Paternoists and PS4RSers will be somewhat appeased, although they won’t be forgetting about the vacated wins anytime soon. On the other side of the coin, those who enjoy being outraged that anyone would dare to lionize the “man who did nothing” will be outraged. (I’ve already read as much of that type of crap in the media, in comment streams, and on Twitter as I could possibly want). They won’t stop with anything less than a crucifixion.

      Most of us sit somewhere in-between. This turkey believes that Paterno was a helluva good football coach for a lot of years, but he was also an arrogant, stubborn prick who was fully capable of Nixonian stonewalling when he felt it was needed. “In retrospect, I should have done more” equates to “I fucked up.”

      I guess there are no statues of Nixon, except maybe in his library or in Beijing. But if someone wanted to erect one, they have the right to freely express themselves, at least for now, in this free (at least for now) society.


  2. K. John says

    I have been avoiding any media coverage of this non-story. And besides, when the wins are restored, scholarships are returned, bowl ban is lifted and the statue is put back up outside Beaver Stadium (all of which will happen by the start of bowl season, mark my words), the current uproar on some sites will seem like nothing.

    • says

      OK, I’m marking your words with a big yellow highlighter. I don’t think the PSU administration is about to open the can of worms that would result from re-erecting the statue on campus, new prexy or not. (By the way, along cans of worms lines, with FSU being investigated for the Jameis Winston under the rug deal, could Barron have a skeleton in his own closet that will burn PSU?)

      While the NCAA has relented somewhat on scholarships, I seriously doubt that there will be any movement on the Paterno wins. Relenting on the scholarship reduction made good sense for the NCAA, inasmuch as so-called student-athletes are their life blood, each a mini-revenue source. Putting a superior product on the field benefits the NCAA coffers. How does restoring Paterno’s wins help the NCAA? I don’t think Emmert wants to incur the public criticism. He’d piss off many more people than he would appease, and wouldn’t be serving his own needs and secondarily, those of the NCAA, which we all know is what Emmert is all about.

      The bowl ban? That’s a big “maybe” in my mind. I can possibly, perhaps see Emmert & Co. relenting on that as a PR move, not out of any great surge of benevolence from Indianapolis.

      I care about the scholarships and the bowl ban. I don’t particularly care about the statue or the wins.


      • K. John says

        You are assuming that Heir Emmert, the NCAA and the Penn State Administration are going to have a choice in the matter.

            • says

              Jeez, I dunno, KJ.

              Where in the Paterno family suit do the plaintiffs ask for restoration of the statue? The University made the decision to remove it independent of the Freeh report and NCAA’s machinations. The NCAA never told the university to dump the damn statue, and the courts sure as hell are not going to tell the University where to put its statuary (although I might have a suggestion or two).

              The University would have to arrive at the decision internally, and it would be a grand PR faux pas if it ever happened. I submit that they won’t be touching that one with a ten foot pole.

              I still think that eventually, say a generation hence, when memories fade, the University will see fit to memorialize St. Joe’s achievements in the All Sports Museum. If the statue returns, that would be the appropriate place for it. However, I think that there are too many raw nerves in the wake of the Sandusky scandal for this pipe dream to come to pass by bowl season, as you posited.


              • K. John says

                Good points on the statue but at some point, the outcry is going to be too big to ignore. You also have to remember that the statue was a gift which does change things. Regardless, I think the statue will eventually be returned to its place.

                • says

                  I disagree. The pro-statue outcry probably peaked a year ago and will fade with time. On the other hand, re-erecting the statue in its former prominent location would instantly result in a great reactionary clamor from the disparagers (i.e. opening a can of worms), which for PR reasons I believe the University will choose to avoid. Cowardly, yes, but typical of university behavior in general. They’ll sacrifice their own to ensure smooth sailing in H-burg, Washington, and the media.


                  • K. John says

                    We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. I don’t think it will be back up this year but I think it will be back up within the next two.

                    But, the NFL draft is upon us and as a long suffering Cleveland Browns fan, the run up to the draft is the only time of the year where hope springs eternal because I know that on draft day they are going to mess up their first pick by taking a quarterback that shouldn’t be drafted until the second round and compound that by drafting “the best available player” with their second first rounder which logic says is going to be a receiver given the depth of that position.

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