PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Onward Debate: Paterno Field At Beaver Stadium A Deserving Tribute

It’s a no-brainer. When you think of college football, you think of Joe Paterno. When you think of Penn State, you think of Joe Paterno. And most importantly — for the sake of this argument — when you think of Beaver Stadium, you think of Joe Paterno. “The House That Joe Built,” as it has been affectionately christened. The venue at which a young Brooklyn boy fresh out of the Ivy Leagues started his career, and the venue at which a State College legend ended his career.

The movement urging the university to pay tribute to the late coach by naming his second home “Paterno Field at Beaver Stadium” began in 2009, and it’s gained traction following his death as it was revamped by Penn State activist Blake Tobias. There’s clearly wide support for the renaming, as Tobias’ petition has already garnered over 57,000 signatures of the 107,282 (Beaver Stadium’s capacity) he hopes to gain before submitting the idea to the Board of Trustees.

Some may argue that the stadium is already named in tribute of a great Penn State figure, former Penn State President and Trustee James Beaver, who also served as Governor of Pennsylvania for a time. You might also recognize that namesake from one of the two main streets in downtown State College. But a descendant of Beaver has said that their family fully supports naming the field after Paterno.

Others may argue that Paterno already has a library named after him, but that was thanks to a donation he made for construction of the wing. In my opinion, the coach contributed enough to Penn State during his lifetime to deserve a tribute in his honor that isn’t prompted by money, but by his everlasting effect on Happy Valley. What better place to give him that tribute than to renamethe stadium where he built his legacy?

Even the Board of Trustees has admitted that Paterno is deserving of recognition at some point, and they’re even taking suggestions for potential ways to give him that honor. They plan on holding off on finalizing anything until the investigation by Judge Freeh is completed, and that’s both a fair and sensible decision.

It also makes sense to wait on any official tribute to Paterno due to the circumstances in which his relationship with the university was terminated just months before he passed away. It would look insensitive if the very same group of people that condemned the man for his lack of “leadership” in a statement this week then turned around and named the field after him, but in time it will become necessary to honor Joe Paterno in one way or another.

I don’t think that anyone — Penn State alumni or student, Joe Paterno fan or friend — would deny that the coach has changed the face of this university for the better. His legacy will live on in this town as long as it’s in existence, felt from the bustling streets of downtown State College to the iconic buildings of the University Park campus. The way I see it, there’s no better way to make that legacy tangible than naming the field that Paterno spent so much time pacing back and forth on, pant legs rolled up, after the legend himself.

Read the other side of this Onward Debate right here.

About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.


More by Zach

Penn Stater Named To Olympic Committee’s Centre for Safe Sport’s Inaugural Board

The Center for Safe Sport was recently created to tackle the issue of protecting America’s athletes. Penn State will be represented on the inaugural board by chief ethics and compliance officer Regis Becker.

A Valentine’s Day Trio Of Penn State Love Stories

Penn State To Celebrate 161st Birthday Next Week


Incoming Penn State Track & Field Athlete Kristian Marche Shot To Death In Philadelphia

The incident surrounding Marche’s death is “under investigation,” according to the Philadelphia police department.

Former Women’s Gymnastics Coach Files Lawsuit Against Penn State Over Handling Of Abuse Allegations

Men’s Soccer Trio, Reading United Win PDL Eastern Conference Title, Fall Short Of National Championship

Penn State Hockey’s Evan Barratt, Aarne Talvitie Participate In World Junior Summer Showcase

Ally McHugh Wins 400 Medley National Championship

Student Life

Nike Releases New Penn State Sneakers

This year’s sneaker is available to purchase online for $109.99.

Penn State Parking Office Runs Into Student Permit Purchase Issues

Girirajan Lab Seeks To Bridge The Gap Between Fly And Human Genomes

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

Fall Move-In Traffic & Construction Changes

When 40,000 students need to move back to State College over the course of four days or so, things are bound to get crazy.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Assessing Penn State’s Front Seven Following Tuesday’s Medical Retirements

Penn State’s defensive line rotation will be shaken up following Ryan Buchholz’s medical retirement from football, while the coaching staff is letting the linebackers duel it out during camp.

Send this to a friend