Published November 14, 2011
PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- The Big Ten Conference announced Monday it had removed Joe Paterno's name from the championship trophy awarded to the conference's top football team.
In the latest fallout involving Penn State's child sex abuse scandal, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said The Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy -- originally named after the iconic Penn State coach and fellow Hall of Fame coach Amos Alonzo Stagg -- would be called the Stagg Championship Trophy.
"We believe that it would be inappropriate to keep Joe Paterno's name on the trophy at this time," Delany said, according to CBS Sports. "The trophy and its namesake are intended to be celebratory and aspirational, not controversial. We believe that it's important to keep the focus on the players and the teams that will be competing in the inaugural championship game."
The Stagg Trophy will be awarded at the inaugural Big Ten Championship game in December. The conference became eligible to host a championship game for the first time this year after Nebraska joined as its 12th member school.
The decision to drop Paterno's name from the trophy comes in the wake of the massive scandal involving former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, who has been charged with sexually assaulting eight boys over a period of 15 years.
Reports of an alleged coverup within the higher echelons of the school and football program have rocked Penn State. Paterno, 84, was fired from his job last Wednesday after a remarkable 46-year run, which two weeks ago saw him become the all-time wins leader in Division I-A (FBS) history.
University president Graham Spanier also was fired from his post Wednesday, while athletic director Tim Curley and vice president for finance and business Gary Schultz have been charged with perjury for lying to a grand jury about what they knew and for failing to notify authorities of suspected child abuse.
Paterno, who has not been charged in the case, retained an attorney last Friday.