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Penn State’s plan to honor Joe Paterno sparks an uproar

Penn State tribute to Joe Paterno sparks uproar
Penn State Coach Joe Paterno at a game in October 2011. he was fired that November after he was caught up in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case.
(Jim Prisching / Associated Press)

If Penn State was hoping to quietly honor the late Joe Paterno, that didn’t quite work.

His name has been trending on social media over the last 24 hours, with lots of people upset the university is planning to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his first game in Happy Valley.

Paterno’s career ended in controversy, the school abruptly firing him in 2011 after his longtime defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, was arrested for child sexual abuse.

Though Paterno was never charged, court documents showed that at least one alleged victim said the coach was told about Sandusky’s behavior and failed to take action.

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Paterno died of lung cancer in 2012.

His tribute is included in a list of “2016 Football Promotions,” mentioned halfway down the page amid other activities — such as a dance marathon — planned during the Sept. 17 game against Temple.

Penn State officials had previously said they would recognize Paterno at an appropriate time.

david.wharton@latimes.com

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Twitter: @LATimesWharton


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