Jerry Sandusky Scandal

Nike removing Joe Paterno's name from children's center in wake of Freeh report

Nike Chairman Phil Knight gathers himself while speaking during the memorial.  The memorial for Joe Paterno was held Thursday, January 26, 2012, in the Bryce Jordan Center on the Penn State University campus in State College, Pa.  Centre Daily Times/Nabil K. Mark
Nike Chairman Phil Knight gathers himself while speaking during the memorial. The memorial for Joe Paterno was held Thursday, January 26, 2012, in the Bryce Jordan Center on the Penn State University campus in State College, Pa. Centre Daily Times/Nabil K. Mark Centre Daily Times

The president of Nike Inc. says the company will remove Joe Paterno’s name from its child care center at its world headquarters in Oregon.

Nike President and CEO Mark Parker, a Penn State graduate, said in a statement that he is “deeply saddened” by information released today in the Freeh report.

“It is a terrible tragedy that children were unprotected from such abhorrent crimes,” he said. “My thoughts are with the victims and the Penn State community.”

Former Paterno assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted in June on 45 counts of child sex abuse.

The Freeh report details actions by Paterno and other top officials at Penn State to keep Sandusky's actions secret.

Nike co-founder Phil Knight, a staunch Paterno supporter, also released a statement following the release of the Freeh findings.

“According to the investigation, it appears Joe made missteps that led to heartbreaking consequences,” Knight said in the statement. “I missed that Joe missed it, and I am extremely saddened on this day.”

Knight, who spoke during Paterno’s funeral, and was one of his most outspoken supporters, said today that his “love for Joe and his family remains.”

“Throughout Joe Paterno’s career, he strived to put young athletes in a position to succeed and win in sport but most importantly in life,” he said in the statement. “Joe influenced thounsands of young men to become better leaders, fathers and husbands.”

Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter

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