Name Change in Store for Beaver Stadium?
The rush is on. Penn State alumni and fans are urging Penn State officials to rename the current Beaver Stadium to Joe Paterno Field at Beaver Stadium, and they want it done while Joe still roams the sidelines.
According to reports by StateCollege.com, alumnus Warren Armstrong has been actively persuading President Graham Spanier and athletics director Tim Curley to change the name of the stadium to honor Paterno, who is entering his 45th year and a couple wins shy of 400 career victories.
Onward State was unable to reach athletic director Tim Curley or assistant athletic director Jeff Nelson for a comment, but Curley offered insight to StateCollege.com.
We appreciate the input and will certainly want to consider all possibilities at the appropriate time. The process will be an internal one with the appropriate university approvals required at the time,” said Curley.
Armstrong is helping his cause by encouraging fans to write letters to Spanier and Curley, promoting the idea. There has also been a group organizing the cause on Facebook, which has doubled in group members since StateCollege.com broke their first report.
Precedents have been set in the past with coaches of similar stature.
Bobby Bowden, a longtime counterpart to Paterno during his tenure at Florida State, received the same honor in 2004. Although it was known as Doak S. Campbell stadium since 1950, Florida State officials elected to change the name to Bobby Bowden Field at Doak S. Campbell stadium.
Bowden spent 34 years with Seminoles where he tallied 316 victories. He also accumulated two national championships.
Alabama adjusted its stadium name to Bryant-Denny Stadium in 1975 in honor of coaching legend Paul “Bear” Bryant. Bryant won 232 games during his tenure at Alabama. However, the Alabama legislature later became involved with that.
It seems only fitting to honor Paterno in a similiar fashion. All three have similar resumes. Each are in the College Football Hall of Fame. Each have ingrained themselves into the lore of their universities.
However, Bowden’s and Bryant’s number have trouble comparing to Paterno’s.
Paterno has 394 career victories in his soon to be 45 seasons at Penn State. There have been 860 coaching changes in major college football programs since Paterno took helm in 1966. No other college football coach has won more games.
That is not mentioning the millions and millions of dollars Paterno and his wife Sue has donated back to the university. He will go down as one of the greats, and no one will be able to argue with that.
Beaver Stadium was originally named after another Pennsylvania legend. James A. Beaver was a civil war second lieutenant from Bellefonte, Pa. He later went on to become the Pennsylvania governor. He was a man of great honor.
One can only imagine that 2nd Lt. Beaver would be more than honored to make room for another legend.