Joe Paterno statue to be removed, report says, Trustees deny vote

The Paterno statue stands outside Beaver Stadium, the home field for Penn State football. Photo: Justin Karp

Conflicting reports have once again emerged over whether or not the iconic statue of Joe Paterno on the campus of Penn State University would be taken down.

As first reported by sports reporter Bonnie Bernstein and Kim Jones of the NFL Network, the Penn State Board of Trustees voted Thursday night to remove the statue of the coach as part of the fallout from the Freeh report, which was released earlier this month.

However, a member of the Board told CBS Sports that no such vote had taken place. A university spokesman told The Dan Patrick Show Friday morning also said that he was unaware of any decision being made.

Paterno, who died in January at 85, was one of several Penn State leaders blasted in the report for failing to act in the interest of the victims of Jerry Sandusky.

The report said that several campus leaders acted in the interest of preserving the reputation of both the school and the football program rather than reporting allegations of Sandusky's abuse.

Paterno coached the Nittany Lions for nearly 45 seasons before being fired during the 2011 season. On July 16, the student leaders of the encampment that stays outside Beaver Stadium during football season voted to change its name from Paternoville to Nittanyville.

Several Penn State students stood guard in front of the statue earlier this week to protect it from vandalism. That came after a small banner plane dragged a message over the campus on Tuesday that read, "Take the statue down or we will," ESPN reports.