If you're looking for a place to take the family on a quick trip without spending a ton of money in gas, Jamestown is an ideal spot for a One Tank Trip. More >>
If you're looking for a place to take the family on a quick trip without spending a ton of money in gas, Jamestown is an ideal spot for a One Tank Trip. Located on the Cumberland Plateau halfway between Nashville and Knoxville, the town has lots to do and see.More >>
KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A reminder of the Penn State child abuse scandal is gone, at least for now.
A statue of the late, former football coach Joe Paterno was removed early Sunday morning after a report by a former FBI Director Louis Freeh found Paterno could have done more to prevent child sexual abuse by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
Penn State officials now await the announcement of sanctions against the football program.
Many East Tennessee have strong opinions on the subject, including Leroy Thompson, a former Austin-East and Penn State football player who lives in Knoxville. Thompson played at Penn State under Paterno from 1987 to 1991.
"You've got victims in that city, and the statue and everything around it would be a constant reminder. And for that purpose, it has to go down," said Thompson.
Thompson said he agreed with the university's decision to remove the statue. He said Paterno "doesn't need a statue" for the mark he's left on the university.
"Thousands of athletes like myself that will carry on what the true Joe Paterno stood for, and no name or statue or name on the building could do that. We're the examples of what Joe Paterno stood for," said Thompson.
In a statement released Sunday, Paterno's family says removing the statue does not help the victims.
But sports fans at Wild Wing Café in West Knoxville agreed with Thompson that removing the statue was the right step.
"Anything Penn State and anything associated those men should be removed. But let Penn State move on from this and have a great football team like they always have. Let's just do it with some different people," said Carol Hooey-Dockery, a West Knoxville resident.
"[Paterno] protected his friends where he should have protected the standards of the university, and he lied, he lied to everybody," said Murray Earle, a Knoxville resident.
The NCAA plans to announce sanctions against Penn State and its football program on Monday.
"[Paterno] and some others made some egregious mistakes. Because of it, some children were hurt, not as a result of their mistake, but as a result of their not doing something taking it a little further. So, in that regard, I think something has to be done," Thompson said.
The NCAA said the penalties will be "corrective and punitive measures."