Plane delivers Paterno message at Penn State

With Joe Paterno's statue in the foreground, a plane dragging a banner that said "TAKE THE STATUE DOWN OR WE WILL" circled Beaver Stadium for about 3 hours, MICHAEL BRYANT/Staff Photographer
With Joe Paterno's statue in the foreground, a plane dragging a banner that said "TAKE THE STATUE DOWN OR WE WILL" circled Beaver Stadium for about 3 hours, MICHAEL BRYANT/Staff Photographer
Posted: July 19, 2012

JOE PATERNO'S name continues to lose its luster.

On Tuesday, an airplane flew over State College for about 3 hours with a banner reading, "Take the Statue Down or We Will," in reference to the Paterno statue outside Beaver Stadium. Photos of the banner quickly surfaced on Twitter.

School officials Sunday issued a statement saying that no decision had been made, denying a report that the Board of Trustees had voted to keep the statue standing. A school spokesman said Tuesday a decision will be made within 7 to 10 days.

The plane is registered to Air America Aerial Ads, based in Ohio, and was flown by company owner Jim Miller.

"I advertise," Miller told the Centre Daily Times. "I believe in freedom of speech."

A Penn State spokeswoman said there was nothing the school could do about the banner, but was monitoring the situation.

Meanwhile, in Providence, R.I., Brown University removed Paterno's name from its head football coaching position and a student award and is reviewing whether to remove him from the Brown Athletic Hall of Fame.

The Ivy League university said it made the moves following a report that concluded the late coach was among those who concealed child-sex abuse by assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Paterno graduated from Brown in 1950.

The school said Paterno's name has been permanently removed from an award for outstanding male freshman athlete. The award had been presented since 1991, and was presented this spring without Paterno's name attached to it.

His status in Brown's Hall of Fame is being reviewed by the hall's board. He was inducted in 1977.

Brown says the removal of his name from the head coaching chair was made due to issues that predated the Penn State matter.

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