HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A Republican Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced an amendment to a state Senate bill that would require Penn State University to provide information about the Joe Paterno statue.
The sponsor of the amendment, State Representative Aaron Bernstine (Butler/Beaver/Lawrence), has attached it to Senate Bill 1283, which is an act providing funding for state-related universities for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2022, and ending June 30, 2023.
The statue was put in place in State College to honor the former head football coach’s four decades at the university. Then in July 2012, the university removed the statue from its location outside of Beaver Stadium because it had become a “source of division and obstacle to healing” after the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.
According to Rep. Bernstine, the statue has since been moved to an unnamed secure location.
“The statue symbolized Coach Paterno’s many outstanding contributions to Penn State on and off the gridiron,” said Bernstine. “His legacy should remain alive for people to view and reflect. Removing the statue does not serve the victims of Sandusky’s horrible crimes. The university is sending a mixed message by treating Paterno as a hero at the campus library where a plaque is displayed due to the millions of dollars he donated, but a villain at the stadium where he coached the Nittany Lions to two national collegiate championships and five undefeated seasons.
The amendment would require the university to submit a report of the statue’s location and method of storage/protection to the House and Senate Education committees. This report would be required for the university to receive funding from Senate Bill 1283.
According to Rep. Bernstine, a letter has been sent to Penn State President Neeli Bendapudi asking for the information.