Penn State president Rod Erickson has decided to remove the statue of former head football coach Joe Paterno amid the recent allegations in the Freeh Report.
Construction vehicles and local police arrived at the site of the statue shortly after dawn Sunday morning. Barricades were set up along the street and sidewalk and a chain link fence was erected around the statue with a tarp covering the statue of Paterno.
The Paterno family was not available for comment.
Erickson said he needed to remove the statue because it "has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing." The statue will be placed into storage.
Erickson also said in a statement released early Sunday morning, ''I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse."
Paterno's name will remain on the school's library because it ''symbolizes the substantial and lasting contributions to the academic life and educational excellence that the Paterno family has made to Penn State University.''
The seven foot statue was erected in 2001 in honor of Joe Paterno and his record breaking 324th Division 1 coaching win and his "contributions to the university."
However, it has become a source of division. Newspaper columnists and former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden have requested that the statue come down. Recently a small plane flew over Penn State saying, "Take Down The Statue Or We Will."
Students and Paterno fans have used the statue as a rally area, holding candlelit vigils with one student saying that he would chain himself to the statue if it were threatened to be removed.