Joe Paterno, it turns out, was no saint, so the artist who painted a mural of the veteran coach on a State College street has removed the halo from above Paterno’s head.
Michael Pilato, said he decided the halo had to go after the release of a report by former FBI director Louis Freeh, which was sharply critical of Paterno and other Penn State officials for their handling of the child abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, reported Onward State,an independent student news blog.
He had added the halo to the painting after Paterno’s death in January.
“Sadly, today is one of the hardest things that I’ve done,” Pilato was quoted by Onward State. “I had to … I got rid of his halo.”
Pilato decided to keep a blue ribbon he painted on Paterno’s jacket symbolizing support for child abuse victims.
The university, meanwhile, has received pressure to remove the statue of the late coach that stands outside Beaver Stadium.
Meanwhile, the family of Paterno has instructed its lawyer to form a “group of experts” to conduct a comprehensive review of the facts and conclusions presented last week in the Freeh report.
“We are dismayed by, and vehemently disagree with, some of the conclusions and assertions and the process by which they were developed by the Freeh Group,” Wick Sollers, the lawyer for the Paterno family, said in a statement Monday. “Mr. Freeh presented his opinions and interpretations as if they were absolute facts. We believe numerous issues in the report, and his commentary, bear further review.”
The Paterno family also said it will ask its team of experts and lawyers “to go beyond the report and identify additional information that should be analyzed.”
In addition, the Paterno family has asked the Freeh group to preserve all of its records, notes and materials collected during its eight-month investigation of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal at Penn State.