Sandy Barbour Comments On Honoring Joe Paterno
Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour released a statement via Penn State football’s official website about plans to honor Joe Paterno this weekend.
In the statement, Barbour says the focus of the celebration will be on Paterno’s commitment to student athletes and academics. Barbour also said highlights of Paterno’s first game in 1966 will be shown on the video boards.
News of the school’s plans to honor Paterno made national headlines, which incited a considerable amount of backlash. Certain factions remained vocal in support of Penn State’s decision to honor the coach. Barbour also stated 1966 co-captains Mike Irwin and John Runnells will participate in the coin toss on the field prior to kickoff.
Here’s Barbour’s statement in full:
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Joe Paterno’s first game and first victory as head coach. On September 17, commemorative activities will focus on the commitment he had to student-athletes and academics, as well as highlights of the 1966 game.
This Saturday at Beaver Stadium as we face Temple University, we will highlight the student-athletes he impacted. Members of the 1966 team, co-captains Mike Irwin and John Runnells, will be participating in the on-field coin toss. Further in-game introductions of players will take place, along with video presentations on the impact to student-athletes.
Coach Paterno wanted academic success not only for his players but also for every student who came through Penn State. Together with his wife, Sue, they helped countless students become leaders and earn a Penn State diploma. Our plans are consistent with the wishes of the Paterno family as well, with a focus on the players and their accomplishments at Penn State and beyond.