Paterno still honored at Brown University, despite scandal

Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:38pm EDT

Signs and flowers are seen at the statue of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, before the annual Spring football scrimmage in State College, Pennsylvania April 21, 2012. REUTERS/Pat Little

Signs and flowers are seen at the statue of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, before the annual Spring football scrimmage in State College, Pennsylvania April 21, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Pat Little

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(Reuters) - The late Joe Paterno is keeping his place in Brown University's Athletic Hall of Fame despite his role in the cover-up of the sex abuse scandal at Penn State University.

Paterno and other Penn State officials have been faulted for their alleged concealment of a long history of sex abuse by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, and seeking to protect the school's image at the expense of Sandusky's young victims.

But in a statement issued on Thursday, Rhode Island-based Brown said the independent board that oversees its Hall of Fame had voted not to remove Paterno from his place of honor.

"His election to the Hall of Fame recognized Paterno's outstanding career as a player at Brown, quarterbacking the celebrated varsity football team of 1949, and his contribution to college sports," the statement said.

It stressed that by acknowledging Paterno's past achievements the board did not intend "to diminish the tragic events that occurred at Penn State toward the end of Coach Paterno's career."

Paterno died of lung cancer in January at age 85. A member of the class of 1950 at Brown, he was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 1978.

(Reporting By Tom Brown; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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