State College, PA, United States (4E Sports) – Two years after his iconic statue at Penn State was torn down, Joe Paterno will have another one about two miles from the original site.
Two alumni received approval from the borough to install a projected $300,000 life-sized bronze sculpture of the late Nittany Lions football coach.
The new statue will be installed near the entrance of The Tavern Restaurant, on a walkway off East College Avenue, and will replace two marble benches.
Ted Sebastianelli and Kim Intorre hope the statue, which will feature Paterno sitting on a bench reading Virgil’s “Aeneid,” will be installed by fall of next year.
They have already commissioned an artist, Zenos Frudakis, and will seek to raise $50,000 for “Joe’s Bench” on the funding platform Kickstarter come July.
“We just felt that the university was not ready yet” to honor Paterno, said Intorre. “But the community is.”
Intorre said the idea for the statue came shortly after Paterno’s death in January 2012 and was not launched in relation to university officials’ decision to remove the Paterno statue outside of Beaver Stadium.
That 900-pound statue was taken down in July 2012 during the aftermath of the child-sex abuse scandal involving ex-Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
The NCAA stripped Paterno of 111 wins and levied unprecedented sanctions against the football team, including a four-year postseason ban.
However, the town has not forgotten its longtime coach, who spent 61 years on the sideline.
“It’s clear the university isn’t ready to do anything; they’re certainly not ready to put the statue back,” said Sebastianelli. “That’s their call. Everybody has their own views on the statue and when it should be back up, where it should be and so forth.
Frudakis has designed other sports sculptures that are featured in such places as the Philadelphia Phillies’ ballpark (Mike Schmidt), Georgia Golf Hall of Fame (Arnold Palmer) and Pinehurst Resort (Payne Stewart).