Joe Paterno's legacy is tainted, and the removal of his statue at Penn State is only one of the symbols of his athletic achievements to fall.
Paterno's alma mater, Brown University, made several recent moves to strip the disgraced Penn State coach of his honors at the school and to keep his name at arm's length from the institution.
In a university release, Brown officials stated:
Joseph V. Paterno graduated from Brown in 1950, and has been honored over the years for his accomplishments as a student-athlete and his career in athletics. In light of the outcome of the Sandusky trial and the findings of the Freeh Report, the university has been reviewing these tributes to take appropriate action.
Brown University, which has given out the Joseph V. Paterno '50 award in his honor for the past two decades, removed his name from the award this May as a result of Penn State sexual abuse scandal. In light of the Freeh Report's condemnation of Paterno's improper actions that did not protect young boys against Jerry Sandusky's pedophilia, the school has reverted the award's title back to its original "the first-year male athlete award.” The release also stated that past recipients of the award will be notified of the change.
Virginia Tech Head Football Coach Frank Beamer, who was the first to receive the Joseph V. Paterno award from Brown, took the plaque from its display in his office, saying last week that it was "the proper thing to do."
In addition, Ivy Gate, a news blog on the Ivy League, reports that Brown has pulled Paterno's name off its list of prominent alumni.
However, Ivy Gate also reports that Brown University still hosts a page on its athletics website dedicated to Paterno's legacy. It details his accomplishments as a student athlete and football coach. Paterno played football for Brown and was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1977. According to the release, the scandal has caused Paterno's place in the Hall of Fame to come into question, and his recognition as a hall of famer is currently under review by Brown's Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
On Brown's webpage on Paterno's athletic legacy, Paterno reportedly said:
'The best four years of my life were here at Brown,' said Paterno at the 1990 Celebration of Brown’s 1949 team. 'I’ve been involved with kids who won national championships in football... none of it has meant as much to me as the Colgate game, the Princeton game in ’48, the Harvard game in ’49. We all did it together. We all depended on each other...we trusted each other...We grew up together. We gave something to Brown, Brown gave something to us, and we gave something to each other. Brown is a special place-I really believe that.'
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