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.