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Brown Football Players Want to Keep Paterno’s Name on Award

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Fourteen out of 20 Brown football players interviewed by GoLocalProv said they believe that Brown University should keep Brown alumnus Joe Paterno's name on an award given out in his honor.

The interviews were conducted Friday through today after the release of the Freeh report, but before the University had announced the removal earlier today.

"I personally believe that everyone makes mistakes in their lives," said rising sophmore Abe Dube. "That doesn't mean he shouldn't be recognized for the good things he has done."

With 70% of the players in favor of keeping the Paterno name, the argument for sustaining the recognition was similar. "Even though his legacy has definitely been tarnished in some way, I think it was still an honor to have considered Joe Paterno an alumni of Brown," said three-time Ivy Rookie of the Week Alex Norocea.

"The award is meant to honor his athletic success," said freshman Tim Hatfield. "Although his conduct was despicable, the award was not meant to measure his character, but his athletic prowess."

Seven other players said that the award should be renamed and two declined comment.

"They (Brown University) should probably change it or it will look bad to the public," one player said (who requested their name not be disclosed). "I don't however, believe that Joe Pa was a bad person, just a person that made the mistake of putting his career and fame ahead of the needs of others."

"Success can consume a person and in his case it lead to him making some terrible decisions, but that doesn't take away from the good that he did in his community and how much good he did for the game of football."

In a statement to GoLocalProv last Friday, Brown University announced that they have decided to permanently remove Paterno's name from the award after temporarily removing it this past year while reviewing the matter. At the time, Paterno's knowledge of and involvement in the scandal was unclear. Paterno's name was also eliminated from the football coaching chair position earlier this year "due to issues that predated the Penn State matter," the University said. Paterno is an inductee of the Brown Athletic Hall of Fame in 1977. His status is being reviewed by members of the Hall of Fame Board of Directors, the University said.


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