Is Paterno Field a Real Possibility for Penn State Football?

Penn State Football
Penn State Football could possibly soon call 'Paterno Field' home.

Reports surfaced Thursday that Paterno Field, or another version of honoring former Penn State Football head coach Joe Paterno, is actually being discussed at the highest levels within the University.

While it’s been well documented that the alumni voted trustees are passionately in favor of honoring the Paterno Family, the last word from the University was in 2022, stating, “Regarding Coach Paterno, there are no plans for additional honors or reinstallation of the statue.”

However, it appears there are at least conversations between some Penn State trustees and officials. 

There are strong opinions on all sides, and while the majority of Nittany Lions fans support the Paterno Family and their fight against the baseless Freeh Report, not everyone wants to bring this lightning rod of an issue up for debate.

Frankly, there are strong arguments on both sides but to this writer, the argument of ‘it’s not worth bringing up the past’ is simply not a good enough reason to give Paterno his long overdue respect. 

Whether that means a re-installation of the statue is somewhat irrelevant, in my opinion. I don’t need it to become Paterno Field at Beaver Stadium. But, given Sue Paterno’s age and willingness to STILL stand beside the University, heavily involved in the Special Olympics, it’s long since overdue for there to be some recognition of the Paterno body of work from within the University.

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It could be very simple and without a ridiculous amount of scrutiny. 

The university could easily pick a normally low attended non-conference game early in the year and announce the school will be honoring the Paterno Family at halftime. They would bring Sue Paterno on the field at the half, along with any lettermen who want to join (this would be a MASSIVE number), allow her to say a few words and do the ‘we are’ chant. 

This allows those begging for some recognition of the Paterno body of work to have their moment in the sun without annoying those who fear the backlash of a statue or renaming.

As is often the case, the simplest solution is usually the best one …

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Evan Smith

Evan Smith

Evan Smith is an alum of Penn State (Marketing, Economics, 2011) and a basketball season ticket holder since 2006. NittanyCentral is his second reporting job following the Men's Basketball program. He co-founded and co-hosts the Shots Gotta Fall - The Penn State Basketball Podcast (the premiere, the best, the only) with Steve Travis. Smith's most proud moment covering the team was seeing the national No. 9 ranking during Pat Chambers' last year. His most embarrassing moment was spending almost a thousand dollars to travel 2,000 miles in 46 hours to watch the Nittany Lions lose to Temple in the 2011 NCAA Tournament (screw you Juan Fernandez).