Joe Paterno loses his halo

By Arturo Garcia
Sunday, July 15, 2012 11:38 EDT
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Joe Paterno Screenshot from Today Show
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A famous mural on the campus of Penn State University is making several alterations reflecting the results of the report detailing its’ leaders’ failure to prevent Jerry Sandusky’s crimes, NBC News reports.

Among the university luminaries seen on the mural on the university bookstore are former university president Graham Spanier and former head football coach Joe Paterno. Spanier and Paterno, along with former university vice president Gary Schultz and former athletic director Timothy Curley – the “four most powerful people” at Penn State while Sandusky, a former assistant of Paterno’s, engaged in widespread sexual abuse of children – were named in the report of hiding Sandusky’s crimes “from the Board of Trustees, the University community and authorities.”

Saturday, artist Michael Pilato removed the halo he had added to Paterno’s likeness after the coach’s death in January.

“The last time I saw Joe in his home before he died, he said to me, ‘I wish there were classes taught on sexual abuse,’” Pilato said. “The blue ribbon signifies awareness of the sexual abuse and knowing where Joe’s thoughts were on this, I felt it was appropriate to give him the blue ribbon.”

The cause has hit home for Pilato: in December, according to the Centre Daily Times, his 16-year-old daughter revealed that she had been raped by two men when she was 12. Pilato subsequently dedicated another mural in State College, Penn., to her and other victims of sexual abuse.

Watch video from The Today Show, aired July 14, below:

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Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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