|The statue of Paterno outside Beaver Stadium has been the focus of heated debate across the country. (US Presswire)|
A member of the Penn State Board of Trustees says no decision has been made about removing a statue of Joe Paterno, refuting reports Friday that the landmark would be taken down this weekend.
The NFL Network's Kim Jones first reported on Friday Penn State planned to take the statue down this weekend. ESPN radio's Bonnie Bernstein also reported that the statue would be coming down over the weekend after the Penn State Board of Trustees voted to remove it during a conference call on Thursday night.
If there was a conference call, however, it's news to the Penn State board.
Penn State board member Ryan McCombie told Laura Nichols that the Penn State board "did no such thing." A second board member, Anthony Lubrano, says no vote has taken place and that the decision to remove the statue would be the school administration's, not the board of trustees.
According to that report, the decision to remove the statue or leave it will not be left to the school's board of trustees. Instead Penn State president Rodney Erickson will decide whether or not the Paterno statue will be removed, and his decision is expected some time in the next 72 hours.
There have been public outcries to remove the statue following the release of the Freeh Report. The statue has been outside of Beaver Stadium since 2001. The Freeh Report found that Joe Paterno had detailed knowledge of Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing children before and after Sandusky retired from coaching at Penn State.
Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of sexual abuse against ten victims in June.
Since Sandusky's conviction and the release of the Freeh Report, Paterno has had his name removed from Nike's childcare center and Penn State students changed the name of "Paternoville" to "Nittanyville."
Even Paterno's alma mater, Brown University, removed his name from an award it had presented annually to the school's top freshman athlete. The school is also debating whether or not to remove Paterno from its athletic hall of fame.