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More Than 200 Lettermen Ask For Return Of Paterno Statue, Formal Apology From University

More than 200 Penn State Football Lettermen issued a formal request to the university today asking for the return of the Joe Paterno statue and players’ wall, and a “long overdue” apology to Sue Paterno for “the way in which Paterno’s legacy has been unfairly tarnished in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky saga.”

Former tight end and class of 1975 alumnus Brian Masella spoke for the signees in a press release saying “We have been told during the last four-plus years that the board and administration are waiting for the appropriate time to repair the damage they created. Now is the appropriate time. Enough is enough!”

The letter includes signatures from players from each decade since the 1950s, including Penn State’s only Heisman Trophy winner John Cappelletti and Pro Bowl linebacker Paul Posluszny, as well as coaches and staff members.

“We remain saddened that the Penn State Administration and the Board of Trustees thrust our program and coach into an undeserved negative media frenzy in 2011” the former players wrote. “Nearly five years after the firestorm, they still have not defended us or corrected the false narrative. Our legacy and our university deserve better.”

The first request made in the letter is that the statue of Joe Paterno and players’ wall be returned to Beaver Stadium, stating “these testimonies to ‘Success with Honor’ should never have been removed.”

The second request is that the university issue a formal apology to Sue Paterno. “This is a common act of decency, which is both warranted and long overdue.”

The players’ statement concludes with the former players saying “the university’s leaders have repeatedly stated a desire to restore unity to the Penn State community. We hope that they will not waste a great opportunity to do so.”

You can read the entire statement here:

We, the undersigned, are united by the common bond of having been a member of the Penn State Football Team.  We state, unequivocally, that our program has always been one of integrity, honesty, and respect.  Under Coach Paterno, we strove for academic excellence and made an ongoing commitment to becoming better men.

We remain saddened that the Penn State Administration and the Board of Trustees thrust our program and coach into an undeserved negative media frenzy in 2011.  Nearly five years after the firestorm, they still have not defended us or corrected the false narrative.  Our legacy and our university deserve better.  Penn State’s leaders should take two steps toward repairing the damage that they created.

First, restore the statue of Coach Paterno and the players’ wall to where they stood previously outside Beaver Stadium.  These testimonies to “Success with Honor” should never have been removed.

Second, a formal apology from the University to Sue Paterno needs to be issued.  This is a common act of decency, which is both warranted and long overdue.

The university’s leaders have repeatedly stated a desire to restore unity to the Penn State community.  We hope that they will not waste a great opportunity to do so.

About the Author

Alex Bauer

Alex graduated in Spring 2018 with a major in Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He was a first generation Penn Stater from Cheshire, Connecticut along with his two sisters. His favorite things are dogs, coffee, and dogs that shoot hot jets of coffee out of their mouths. If you are Mad Online™ about something Alex wrote on the internet, you can send him threatening emails at [email protected], or harass him on Snapchat and Instagram @TheAlexBauer.

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