Happy Sunday morning, folks. It looks like this could be it for the Paterno statue. The action started around 6 AM, much to the chagrin of the Physical Plant workers and University Police who had to get up early. The Turkey awoke on a premonition, or perhaps because of AS’s snoring.
Penn State President Rod Erickson has issued a statement, in which he defends his decision to remove the statue because it has become a source of division. He said he felt strongly that the Paterno name should remain on the library.
Tweets from people on the scene report that police have set up roadblocks with university garbage trucks and heavy equipment has moved into the statue area. A construction fence covered with blue tarps for privacy is being erected around the statue. No protesters were there. The alleged people who actually were there to observe were purportedly news people.
Obviously, there won’t be any on-site meltdown. I’m pretty sure that the statue will probably be moved to a well-known secret location for a while. Whether that location is secure enough to resist pranksters and protesters is not known at this time. If I were calling the shots, I’d warehouse the thing far away from campus, perhaps in one of those PENNDOT sites next to abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike tunnels.
Joe Paterno died exactly six months ago and Jerry Sandusky was convicted on 45 of 48 charges involving sexual abuse of minors one month ago to this very day.
The Penn State Board of Trustees directed President Rod Erickson to make the decision regarding removal of the statue. As rumors piled up, most of them pointing to this weekend, Erickson gave the go ahead.
Erickson will retire next year.
The Centre Daily Times reported that PSU spokesman Bill Mahon and three others, as yet unidentified, are viewing the scene from a skybox inside Beaver Stadium. Workers with yellow and green safety vests and hardhats are busily preparing for the statuary rape.
Sorry for the crappy humor. I haven’t yet had any coffee.
One of the best pieces of irony I encountered was from a reader of one of ESPN’s sports blogs who suggested that instead of removing the statue, they should rotate Joe 180 degrees so he’ll be looking the other way.
Some Tweeters are bitching about “so much for our new era of transparency”. So, what did you expect? Wait for fall semester and announce the event two weeks in advance?
I’ll watch the scene unfold via Twitter, and I’ll be back this afternoon with a recap of the day’s statuetory activities unless something totally weird happens.
Here’s a live TV feed from the statue, courtesy of Centre Daily Times.