Former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden said Joe Paterno’s statue should be taken down outside Beaver Stadium on the Penn State campus.
“I would,” Bowden told 620 WDAE in Tampa. “If I was Joe Paterno’s family, I would want it taken down.”
Bowden’s statements followed former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s investigation into the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.
Freeh said that Paterno and other top Penn State officials buried child sexual abuse allegations against Jerry Sandusky more than a decade ago to avoid bad publicity.
The alleged cover-up by Paterno, then-university President Graham Spanier and two other Penn State administrators allowed Sandusky to prey on other boys for years.
Paterno, with 409 victories, won more college football games than any other Division I head coach. Bowden was second winningest coach with 377 wins.
Bowden said Paterno’s legacy of integrity has been wiped out.
“I’m afraid (his legacy) is this: Spending 60 years doing it the right way, and then this comes up and erases the whole thing,” Bowden said.
Bowden and Paterno were friends.
“I was just shocked that this thing came up,” Bowden said. “I would get bits of information and still would be shocked. I just hate what happened, but it’s not as bad as to what happened to those boys that were molested 10 years after that. It could have been stopped.”