APTOPIX Penn State Abuse Statue

Penn State places Paterno statue in storage


With his legacy in the minds of myriad people already in tatters, the physical remembrances of legendary Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno are beginning to be shuttered as well.

According to multiple media outlets, and in one of the sane moves the school has made in this whole sordid saga, the statue — as had been rumored — honoring Paterno outside Beaver Stadium has been removed and will be placed in storage for the foreseeable future.  Work on the statue’s removal began at around 6:30 a.m. ET this morning, and was completed roughly two hours later.

A small throng of people witnessed the tearing down of the 11-year old statue, which stood seven-feet tall and weighed nearly half a ton.  Some of those gathered to witness Paterno’s legacy literally being torn down in front of them were, as the Centre Daily Times wrote, visibly upset.

It’s just another crime being committed,” State College resident Susan Lamey laughably told the paper. “It’s just like what they want to do with the football team. They keep punishing the innocent. This is not solving the problem. This doesn’t fix anything.”

While it may not “fix” anything, the removal of the statue, new PSU president Rodney Erickson said, will help the school in its healing process.

“I now believe that, contrary to its original intention, Coach Paterno’s statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our University and beyond,” Erickson’s statement read. “For that reason, I have decided that it is in the best interest of our university and public safety to remove the statue and store it in a secure location. I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse.”

The removal comes less than two weeks after the Freeh report pointed to many high-powered Penn State officials, including Paterno, being actively involved in a cover-up of convicted serial pedophile Jerry Sandusky.

Paterno’s family has yet to comment on the removal.

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.