Joe Paterno

Crowds gather again at Joe Paterno statue

People flocked to the Joe Paterno statue outside of Beaver Stadium on Friday, July 20, 2012, after rumors that the statue will be taken down this weekend.   Abby Drey
People flocked to the Joe Paterno statue outside of Beaver Stadium on Friday, July 20, 2012, after rumors that the statue will be taken down this weekend. Abby Drey Centre Daily Times

UNIVERSITY PARK — Marty Robbins had only seen the Joe Paterno statue on television.

Traveling from his home in Cincinnati, Robbins knew this might be his last chance to see the statue — at least in its current location.

“I’m very excited to be here,” Robbins said Saturday, standing in the back of a long line of people waiting to take pictures.

Though not a Penn State graduate or a Pennsylvania resident, Robbins said he is a fan and thinks the statue should stay right where it is.

“It should stay up,” he said. “(Paterno) stood for more than this. His legacy shouldn’t be tarnished.”

But the decision is now up to Penn State President Rodney Erickson, and sources said Friday a decision will be made in the next 72 hours — representing a time frame of early this week.

Penn State spokesman David LaTorre did not return a request for comment Saturday for an update on the process.

In addition to the steady stream of visitors, mementos were placed at the foot of the statue including flowers and signs. One sign reads, “We stand by Joe” and includes a picture of the late football coach.

Paul Gharett, of Milton, traveled to State College to take photos of the statue because he said he still supports Paterno and doesn’t want the statue to be taken down.

He said he would feel fine about the idea proposed by some to move the statue to the Penn State All-Sports Museum, but if he had it his way it would stay where it is.

“Joe is being used as a scapegoat,” Gharett said. “He’s done so much good, and I don’t think he’s being treated right.”

Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan

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