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Two years ago, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Penn State removed its statue of football coach Joe Paterno. But if two alumni have their way, State College, Pa. may get another one of the coach.
The alumni already received the greenlight from the borough to build the statue downtown, but still need to raise the funds, notes ESPNA. It is estimated that the life-size bronze statue will cost $300,000 to build and will be located just two miles from the location that Penn State’s statue stood. In July, the organizers plan on launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000.
“There’s been some level of frustration among Penn Staters with what happened with the statue at the stadium,” Ted Sebastianelli, who is one of the project’s organizers, told Onward State. “We wanted to come up with a way to honor Joe for all that he did for the State College community. It wasn’t just the university he impacted — it was the whole town.”
According to USA Today, they did try to get Paterno’s widow, Sue, to be involved, but she declined. The school itself, which has tried to move on from the scandal, would also not comment on it.
Kim Intorre, another member of the group, told ESPN that the community is ready to honor Paterno, even if the school is not.
Zenos Frudakis was recruited to create the statue, which will have Paterno sitting on a bench, reading Aeneid by Virgil.
The NCAA took away all 111 of Paterno’s career victories and banned the program from post-season games for four seasons. Paterno was fired after the Sandusky scandal broke and died on Jan. 22, 2012.