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Now they’ve even torn down the wall that was behind the Joe Paterno statue

Jul 24, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

Penn State Abuse Football AP

In case you were planning on making a pilgrimage to the site where the Joe Paterno statue once stood, good luck finding it. They tore down the Paterno statue on Sunday, as you know, but Penn State officials weren’t through. This morning they demolished the wall that was behind the statue. All that’s left now is to clear away the rubble and, presumably, to salt the earth.

It’s really no wonder they took down the wall: I’m sure the university didn’t want this eerie reminder in front of their football stadium.

Meanwhile, the State College businessman who donated $25,000 for the statue in 1987 is miffed that he was not contacted when the decision came to tear it down. Eddie Lauth, the founder and former CEO of AquaPenn Spring Water Co., wants to know what is to be done with the statue. He filed an injunction on Friday to stop it from being removed, but a Centre County judge ruled against him.

“It just amazes me that Penn State University can do this and continue to say things publicly about Tim Curley and Gary Schultz when they haven’t even had their chance for due process,” he said. “To me it’s unconscionable.”

Lauth wrote in a hand-written affidavit he filed Friday, “I’ve been informed that the university intends to remove the (statue). I gave money directly to the university for the purposes of a permanent tribute in the form of a statue of Joe Paterno and I have not been contacted by the university in the change of plans nor did I agree to the change of plans.”

Penn State spokesman David La Torre said university officials weren’t aware of the petition.

Seems to me that once you’ve given a gift, it isn’t yours anymore. But then I’ve never given a 7-foot bronze statue.

  1. CJ - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    If a donation is given to a non-profit for a specific cause, they are required to use the money toward that end. I’m guessing that’s where the legal standing is for this. I’m sure the court threw it out because, they did spend the money as stipulated by the donor, and the donor has no say in what happens from there.

    • florida727 - Jul 24, 2012 at 4:32 PM

      #CJ… I’m asking this question out of ignorance, so forgive me, but if you give a donation to a non-profit, can you even designate specifically what it is to be used for and still have it be a “tax-deductible gift”? I remember looking into this once and asking about it (at our church), and the answer came back that you can “request” it be used for a certain purpose, but if it gets diverted elsewhere, oh well, you’re out of luck. Kind of a “needs of the business” thing. Most, of course, will honor your request.

      Your most important premise though is spot-on… the donor has no say in what happens post-donation. Hope you enjoyed the tax write-off, Eddie. That’s all you got left to remember your money by.

      • CJ - Jul 24, 2012 at 4:53 PM

        I’ve worked various non-profits (including churches), and my understanding is if someone gives you a donation for a specific reason you can 1) use it for that purpose, 2) reject it, or 3) if it doesn’t cover the whole cost for whatever it is, you put it away ‘for that purpose’ pretty much indefinitely, but you can’t use it for anything else.

        That last part’s tough to enforce though.

        • florida727 - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:35 AM

          Thanks, CJ. Good information to know. Appreciate the quick reply.

  2. rexgrossman8 - Jul 24, 2012 at 2:07 PM


  3. philliephaninva - Jul 24, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Now it’s time to tear down the stadium. Might as well since there will be no real football program at Penn State for the next several years.

    It’s also time that everyone acknowledge that a cover up took place, the parties that were fired by Penn State were involved, and no amount of denial will ever change that.

  4. patsandsox - Jul 24, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    It sucks to be Bill O’Brien, and the current football players, they had nothing to do with it and get all the punishment

    • crosberries - Jul 24, 2012 at 6:24 PM

      O’brien knew what he was getting himself into so I don’t feel sorry for him. The players can transfer out of the school and lose no time or eligibility to go to a real program. If your dumb enough to stay there thats your fault. And congratulations guy who donated money to build a statue of someone who continued to let someone sexually abuse children. Bring it up at dinner parties I’m sure no one at the table will be disgusted you tried to keep the statue from being torn down.

  5. tweeter75 - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:52 PM

    Uh oh! Here comes another denial statement from the Paterno family!

  6. mybrunoblog - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Reports say later in the day Pen State workers dug underneath the area where the statue was, removed all the soil and left a 119 mile deep hole that will be fenced off. Officials later exhumed the body of Paterno and dropped it into the Indian ocean somewhere in the vicinity of where Bin Ladens body was dumped last year.

  7. chumthumper - Jul 25, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Isn’t it ironic and contradictory that the draconain measures the NCAA took to effect cultural change at Penn State is a culture the NCAA was (and is) so instrumental in creating and maintaining?