The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Breaking News

Local News

April 3, 2014

A statue may decide PSU trustees election

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Joe Paterno’s shoes are behind glass.

His black-and-white, Nike athletic shoes are displayed in a case in the Penn State All Sports Museum in the bowels of Beaver Stadium. His signature, thick-framed glasses and a pair of khaki pants accompany them.

Behind the artifacts – a small sign says Paterno wore them on the sidelines – are images of the coach running onto and being carried off the field.

Reverence for Paterno, who coached the Nittany Lions from 1966 to 2011, was once on full display outside Beaver Stadium, too. Sculptor Angelo DiMaria’s vision of a striding Paterno leading a quartet of players was a fixture on the northwest side of the stadium for more than 11 years.

Then, in July 2012, a construction crew spirited away the 900-pound, 7-foot bronze likeness. There’s still no sign of what had been the largest, most visible tribute to the late coach.

The statue’s location remains a secret closely guarded by Penn State officials. Yet what to make of Paterno’s legacy is a topic of much conversation, especially in State College.

Here, Paterno loyalists insist on a more visible memorial despite the coach’s role in a child sex abuse scandal involving one of his assistants which shattered the image of the football program he spent a career cultivating.

The statue is a key issue in this month’s election for Penn State’s 33-member board of trustees. Three of nine seats chosen by alumni are up for election, beginning April 10.

In a 32-person field, 14 candidates mention Paterno in their position statements. Many explicitly pledge to support a tribute to the coach.

Joel Myers, founder of the meteorology business Accuweather, is running for re-election and advocates a new statue of Paterno – along with one of literature scholar Fred Lewis Pattee – in front of the university library that already bears both their names.

Joe and Sue Paterno gave millions to the library over the years, including a $50,000 donation weeks before the coach’s death on Jan. 22, 2012.

“Now is the time to heal the fractures in the Penn State nation,” Myers said at a trustees meeting in January. Myers, who received three degrees from Penn State, lives in State College.

Rudy Glocker, a former Penn State defensive lineman who is running for a seat, said it’s difficult to know the position of all trustees, who include members picked by the state’s farm bureaus, others appointed by the governor and some named by the board, itself.

Realistically, Glocker said, the university may not move to reinstall the statue until all criminal cases arising from the sex abuse scandal are resolved and the NCAA sanctions levied against Penn State have expired.

“At some point, (the statue) will be back,” said Glocker, who graduated in 1991 and runs a children’s footwear company in Nevada.

Building a memorial to Peterno is not universally embraced, even outside the field of trustee candidates. Some, including David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, say the old statue of the old coach should never again see daylight.

Clohessy said honoring Paterno has higher stakes than many realize.

“Honestly,  (reinstalling the statue) would endanger the safety of kids. That sounds like hyperbole but I don’t think it is,” he said.

No matter Paterno’s role in the Sandusky affair – as bit player or major figure – the coach was involved. Erecting a statue, said Clohessy, reinforces the belief that reporting sexual abuse does not lead to justice.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Better security Grant available to boost security in district courts

    County officials are looking to quickly upgrade security systems in the five district judge offices, not due to an increase in risk, but because current systems are antiquated and there is a short window to apply for some financial help with the costs.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials split over selling older monitors

    What to do with a pile of older LCD computer monitors, keyboards and mice remains up in the air until the third, and often absent, county commissioner makes a decision.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police anxious to talk with victim

    Sharon police want to talk to a West Hill man about several other men who came to his house shortly before he was shot and critically wounded Tuesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • AED presentation Heart-friendly pool

    The Lackawannock-Shenango-West Middlesex Pool has some pretty obvious changes from when it was opened almost 46 years ago.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sharon man 'stable' after being shot in his West Hill home

    A Sharon man was in stable condition this morning after being shot by one of several men he had let into his West Hill home, police said.

    July 23, 2014

  • GJR killer not eligible for parole, court rules

    State Superior Court on Tuesday reversed a local judge’s decision that the sentence for one of two men who killed a night supervisor at George Junior Republic, Pine Township, was unconstitutional.

    July 23, 2014

  • Duplicated files, former worker confesses

    A Mercer woman accused of stealing customer lists, billing information and other data from her former employer headed off trial Monday by pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful duplication.

    July 23, 2014

  • Starved house Vandals vent their emotions

    Vandals kept police busy Sunday and Monday nights at a home in Greenville where the Mercer County District Attorney’s office said a boy was starved and beaten by his mom.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple, another man charged in thefts

    Pennsylvania State Police have filed charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief against an East Palestine, Ohio, couple and another man in connection with two robberies in rural Mercer County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Taking stock Where’s the beef? Bull’s still missing

    Is it possible that an alien abduction took place in the Mercer area last week? A solid red, 2-year-old Watusi bull with 3-foot-long horns has been missing since July 14 with no trace of its existence left on earth.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Buhl Day honorees

    The Buhl Day committee has chosen for this year’s celebration five honored guests whose volunteer work they feel best showcases the legacy of philanthropic work left behind by Frank and Julia Buhl a century ago.

    July 22, 2014

  • GC pair not hurt in accident injuring 2

    Two drivers were taken to a hospital after an accident at the intersection of state routes 965 and 173 in Worth Township, police said.

    July 21, 2014

  • WaterFire crowds WaterFire doused

    Sharon’s WaterFire wasn’t lacking either of its elements on Saturday. There was steady, day-long rain but the day concluded with the Shenango River ablaze.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Starved’ boy released from hospital

    A 7-year-old boy allegedly starved and beaten by his mother is out of the hospital and ordered out of his Greenville home by Mercer County Common Pleas President Judge Thomas R. Dobson.

    July 20, 2014

  • WaterFire walking tour Time traveling

    A group of more 50 people walked between the raindrops Saturday during an historical tour of downtown Sharon during the city’s WaterFire celebration.

    July 20, 2014 6 Photos 1 Story