Penn State’s game against Temple figured to draw plenty of controversy, and not for the events on the field.
The Nittany Lions announced they’d honor late head coach Joe Paterno ahead of Saturday’s game vs. the Owls at Beaver Stadium to mark the 50th anniversary of Paterno’s first game with Penn State.
Paterno was fired in 2011 amid the shocking Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, so needless to say, he’s become a pretty polarizing figure since his death in early 2012. Such was the case Saturday. When the stadium showed a Paterno tribute video in the second quarter, many fans responded with a roaring ovation.
Other fans had a decidedly different reaction, including the Temple contingent in attendance.
Several Penn State fans also opposed the tribute, with one holding up signs outside the stadium while others memorialized Paterno with actual shrines.
It appears some Penn State fans will defend and support Paterno regardless of his agency in an ugly child abuse cover-up, so expect the Hall of Fame coach’s legacy to be a hot-button issue for years to come.
Penn State won 34-27.
Photos via Matthew OHaren/USA TODAY Sports Images