Penn State received a petition from over 200 former players Tuesday asking for the return of the Joe Paterno statue and a formal apology to the Paterno family.
In response to the written request, Penn State thanked the former lettermen for their concern and input.
“We appreciate the passion of our former Penn State lettermen for Coach Joe Paterno and the football program, and thank them for their input and many contributions/achievements,” said a university spokesperson. “We recognize that this is emotional for many in the Penn State community, many of whom differ, yet feel strongly about this issue. The University’s leadership has clearly indicated that there will be a time and place to acknowledge Coach Joe Paterno’s many contributions. Any plans by the president to reach out to the Paterno family will be done privately.”
The Paterno statue was removed from university grounds in 2012 after the program’s legendary coach was fired in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal in 2011. Paterno passed away in 2012 after battling lung cancer, but his legacy remains an emotional subject for the school and its supporters.