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Jay Paterno Explains his Request for Penn State Board to Hold Off on Naming Field After Joe Paterno

Jay Paterno

The topic of whether Penn State should honor legendary coach Joe Paterno continues to be a polarizing one.

Some say Penn State and its fans, alumni, donors etc. should just move on.

Others, such as trustee Anthony Lubrano, feel Penn State should name the field at Beaver Stadium after Paterno.

Others feel the school should keep Beaver Stadium’s name the way it is, but should still honor Paterno by restoring his statue that was taken down in the summer of 2012. Some feel nothing Penn State can do to honor Paterno would be enough. This topic was the big story from Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Penn State trustee Anthony Lubrano first ran for a spot on the board almost a dozen years ago because he was “outraged by the firing of Joe Paterno,” per his position statement for the most recent election. 

At Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting, Lubrano introduced a resolution to honor the legendary Penn State coach by naming Beaver Stadium after him.

The resolution also asked that Penn State honor both Joe and his widow, Sue Paterno, at some point this fall.

But another trustee issued a statement in which he “humbly asks the resolution be held for a later date.” Said trustee was none other than Jay Paterno, Joe’s son who played and coached under his father at Penn State. Lubrano decided to withdraw the resolution and requested to have the right to reintroduce it later.

Paterno explained his stance at Friday’s board meeting and posted full remarks to his website.

“In addressing this board,” Paterno wrote, “I do so as an alum, a former university employee and a Trustee– but also as someone who understands the man at the center of this discussion. On Joe Paterno’s desk blotter he taped quotes he’d read that aligned with his worldview. Time has faded the pencil of his handwriting, but the words of a Lincoln quote endure:

“I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to do so until the end. If the end brings me out all right what is said about me won’t amount to anything. If I’m wrong, ten angles swearing I was right won’t make a difference.”

Near the end of Paterno’s statement, he said Penn Stat could “honor the past while also building toward the future.”

“The truly enduring excellence of a university comes from nurturing its roots to grow strong branches reaching ever higher towards the sun. And that is the challenge of our time.”

“With that, I humbly ask that the resolution brought forward today be held for a future date, and date upon which we’ve chartered the course to meet the same vision and shared history of the two people some want to honor. But with Sue Paterno having turned 84 two days ago, and knowing that tomorrow is promised to no one, we can only hope that the future comes sooner than later.”

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