Over the weekend, after all the sordid details had come out on Penn State, after the Freeh report had been released, and as new information emerged that continued to paint an unflattering picture of the person that was Joe Paterno, my friend Matt (Yes, this Matt. What can I say, he’s an inquisitive guy) asked me a simple question on the whole situation.
That question: Should the statue of Joe Paterno outside Beaver Stadium come down?
Admittedly, it was something I’d never taken much time to consider, and something I never thought I would. After all, we now know the gruesome, sordid and disgusting details on what happened at Penn State, and Paterno’s involvement in all of it. It’s out there. The whole world knows it. You don’t need me to tell you any more about it.
So at the end of the day, why did it matter what the school decided to do with a big chunk of copper in the middle of campus? If they wanted to knock it down, great. If they chose to let it stand, whatever. Ultimately, who really cared?
Except that’s where I was wrong: People do care, and the debate over the future of the statue has become the latest hot-button issue in the never-ending saga at Penn State. It started over the weekend when rumors surfaced that the school was planning to keep the statue, before Penn State then announced that a final decision had yet to be made. Still, decision or not, it hasn’t stopped folks from expressing their (strong) opinions on the subject.
But while the debate rages on, I have come to my own decision on what the future of the statue should be. And the more I think about it and I take all the facts into account, the more I firmly believe this: The statue should stay.