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Big Ten Taking Paterno’s Name Off Championship Trophy

Penn State fan
Patrick Smith, Getty Images

It has been a rough week for Penn State and the once pristine reputation of its football program, with the arrest of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky on child sex abuse charges, along with the removal of Joe Paterno after 46 years as head coach. And now, the legacy of Coach Paterno continues its downward spiral into the abyss.

In an article posted by Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg on ESPN.com earlier today, the Conference has announced that they will remove Joe Paterno’s name from its new football championship trophy. Big Ten officials pointed to the recent Grand Jury indictments against Sandusky and the removal of Paterno as PSU head coach among the numerous reasons for removing the name of the all-time wins leader in Divison 1 football history from the trophy.

The new trophy that will be awarded to the winner of the inaugural Conference football title game on December 3rd at Indianapolis originally was named after Paterno, as well as former legendary coach Amos Alonzo Stagg from the University of Chicago. With the removal of Paterno, the trophy will now simply be known as the Stagg Championship Trophy.

In a statement released earlier today, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said the following:

We believe that it would be inappropriate to keep Joe Paterno’s name on the trophy at this time. The trophy and its namesake are intended to be celebratory and aspirational, not controversial. We believe that it’s important to keep the focus on the players and the teams that will be competing in the inaugural championship game.

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