A new poll released on Friday shows that Pennsylvania voters favor renaming Penn State's football, Beaver Stadium, after Joe Paterno, the longtime coach who died in January.
According to a Quinnipiac Poll, 46 percent of registered voters said they would support changing Beaver stadium to Joe Paterno Stadium as a tribute the coach. Paterno died in January at the age of 85 from complications from lung cancer.
There is lingering respect for Joe Paterno, said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. One has to wonder: If the Sandusky scandal had never happened whether support for renaming the stadium would have approached 100 percent.
In late 2011, Paterno, along with former President Graham B. Spanier, was forced out of his position as head coach of the Penn State football team amid the child-sex scandal surrounding former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
Voters who were also college football fans were the clear majority of supporters. Approximately 55 percent said they would support renaming the stadium. People who were not interested in the sport opposed the renaming the stadium 44 percent to 37 percent.
Support crossed income lines as well. Those earning $100,000 a year or more supported renaming the stadium 46 percent to 40 percent. Those who earned less than $30,000 a year support supported the name change 48 percent to 39 percent.
Male voters supported the change 48 percent to 42 percent and women supported it with 45 percent agreeing with the change.
However, among age lines, voters 18 to 49 opposed the renaming Beaver Stadium 48 percent to 42 percent. Voters 50 to 64 had a majority of support with 64 percent supporting it and voters over the age of 65 supported the change with 51 percent.
Penn State Board cited a lack of leadership on the part of Paterno after he learned about the alleged incidents involving Jerry Sandusky. Last week, the Board of Directors released a statement regarding Paterno's release from Penn State.
While Coach Paterno did his legal duty by reporting that information the next day, Sunday, March 3, to his immediate superior, the then Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley, the Board reasonably inferred that he did not call police, said the Board in a statement. We determined that his decision to do his minimum legal duty and not to do more to follow up constituted a failure of leadership by Coach Paterno.
The Board also cited the grand jury report received on Nov. 5 that included detailed testimony from Paterno concerning his knowledge of the allegations against Sandusky. Assistant coach Mike McQueary testified to the grand jury that he walked in on Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in the locker room showers.
Our decisions were guided by our obligation as trustees, always, to put the interests of the university first, said the Board.