By 7:45 a.m. this morning, jackhammers rattled behind a metal fence covered by a blue tarp. The statue was tied to a forklift. The fence shielded the statue, covered in clear plastic and protective packaging materials.
Penn State President Rodney Erickson says the statue was an obstacle to healing:
I now believe that, contrary to its original intention, Coach Paterno’s statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our University and beyond. For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location. I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse.
Susan Lamey, of State College, looked on, visibly upset. She said Paterno did not deserve to be the scapegoat of the Sandusky scandal.“It’s just another crime being committed,” Lamey said of the statue’s removal. “It’s just like what they want to do with the football team. They keep punishing the innocent. This is not solving the problem. This doesn’t fix anything.”