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Joe Paterno Removed From Big Ten Trophy In Wake Of Penn State Scandal

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JOE PATERNO TROPHY
In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009 photo, Penn State Coach Joe Paterno stands with his players before taking the field for an NCAA college football game against Ohio State in State College, Pa. Ohio State won 24-7. Ohio State got over its big-game blues by beating up on Penn State. There's little time to rest, though: Iowa is coming to the Horseshoe next with first place in the Big Ten on the line. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) | AP

When the Penn State football team returned to the field on Saturday afternoon to face Nebraska, they did so without longtime coach Joe Paterno. It was the school's first game in 46 seasons without Paterno in charge. No. 19 Nebraska went on to win 17-14, holding off a late rally from the Nittany Lions.

Despite Paterno's stated intention to coach the remainder of the season in the wake of the shocking sex abuse scandal surrounding former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State Board Of Trustees fired him on Thursday.

On Monday, it appears that PSU is not the only organization looking to distance itself from the coach. The Big Ten announced that the longtime head coach's name would be removed from the inaugural championship trophy.

"We believe that it would be inappropriate to keep Joe Paterno's name on the trophy at this time," league commissioner Jim Delany said. "The trophy and its namesake are intended to be celebratory and aspirational, not controversial. We believe that it's important to keep the focus on the players and the teams that will be competing in the inaugural championship game."

The trophy will be awarded on Dec. 3 at the Big Ten's first ever championship game.

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