Penn State is considering removing a statue of Joe Paterno from in front of its stadium, according to a report.
CBS Sports' Gregg Doyel reported on Wednesday that professors had informed students that the statue of college football's winningest coach would be removed over Thanksgiving break.
But a Penn State official publicly denied that a decision to remove the 7-foot tall, 900-pound statue had been made.
No university officials have discussed the statue in the last 10 days, Greg Mahon, Penn State vice president of university relations, said in a statement.
The statue in front of Beaver Stadium was erected in 2001 and features Paterno extending his right index finger into the air. Earlier this week, the Big 10 decided to remove Paterno's name from its inaugural conference championship trophy.
It was initially named the Stagg-Paterno Trophy, but the conference decided to remove Paterno's name after he was dismissed by Penn State.
We believe that it would be inappropriate to keep Joe Paterno's name on the trophy at this time, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said in a statment. 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.
Paterno was dismissed by Penn State on Nov. 9 for his inactivity in dealing with sexual abuse allegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. A graduate assistant, Mike McQueary, told Paterno that he caught Sandusky raping a 10 year-old boy in the football lockerroom, but Paterno never informed authorities. He did inform his direct supervisors, but many loudly stated he had a higher moral obligation to tell authorities about what he heard.
He was dismissed after 46 years as Penn State's head coach with a 409-163-3 record.