Joe Paterno remains a polarizing figure at Penn State. Many fans were saddened when the statue of JoePa was removed from right outside Beaver Stadium after his involvement or lack thereof in the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke. And then those same fans were given a bit of a reprieve when a new statue was announced in April, this one not associated with the university in anyway. It was set to have the legendary coach sitting on a bench reading a book and reside outside a restaurant in State College and come with a price tag of around $300,000.
The statue's design has since been revealed and plans to have JoePa on e bench have changed, and -- I hope you're sitting for this one -- people on Facebook are outraged.
According to the Penn State-dedicated website OnwardState.com, "The project’s reveal shows that Paterno’s statue will now feature him standing up atop a base with yardlines on it."
The sculptor wasn't down with the bench idea, thought it was too cliche. This quote is just amazing though:
“I felt the bench was a cliché, and Joe was not a cliché. Anyone can sit on a bench, there are many statues with people sitting on a bench, Joe was an active individual, and he was not a bench warmer,” Frudakis said. “I wanted this piece to represent his 61 years of accomplishments, and to remind and re-educate people of who he was. It was an opportunity to restore the balance that he deserves.”
It's true. Anyone can sit on a bench. I'm also curious how the educational impact of a statue can vary based on whether a person depicted is standing vs. sitting.
But human beings with Facebook accounts who like to leave comments on the social networking site remained displeased with the changes.
"I am disgusted with this project," wrote one lady.
And another was sad her chance to sit and eat ice cream with JoePa's statue was taken from her, "I think Joes Bench should be Joe's bench...that was the vision everyone had and the photo everyone loved..it should joe is such a beautiful light..it was to be a place for us to sit and reflect next to joe, share some peachy paterno with him etc..sorry I am not a fan of this new statue and from posts on several other pages many folks are not happy with the change.."
Onward State has much more on the statue and its changes. You can watch a video on the new design below.