Penn State officials acknowledged today that Joe Paterno's legacy needs a revision in light of the findings in the Freeh Report. In fact, the university's board of trustees has already begun the process.
"Today we stand united in announcing that Penn State has commissioned a new Joe Paterno statue that will stand at the entrance to the university instead of outside of Beaver Stadium, showing that this university is about more than just football," said Penn State board of trustees chair Karen Peetz. "Also, instead of being 7-feet tall and bronze, like the original statue, this new one will be 6-foot-5 — approximately a half-inch shorter or each of Mr. Sandusky's victims — and … well, still made of bronze. But a lower quality bronze, depending on current prices in the bronze market.."
Peetz also said a marquee sculptor would not be chosen for the job, "unless one is willing to accept our budget of just $245,000."
In addition to being slightly smaller and of a lower quality bronze than the original statue, Penn State officials have requested that the new shrine to Paterno have a different mood.
"We would like the new one to be maybe a little less smily and triumphant," said Peetz. "Perhaps he could appear serious and concerned. But it's ultimately up to the sculptor. If he or she wants to make Joe appear defiant and heroic for some sort of artistic purposes, we won't stand in the way. Again, we care more about football here at Penn State. We like art stuff, too. Especially art about football."
Penn State officials also stressed that the current Paterno statue outside of Beaver Stadium would remain standing.
"Covering for a serial rapist doesn't change the fact that he won a ton of football games," said university president Rodney Erickson. "Let's make sure we keep some context."