Brown weighing dropping Paterno name from award

Posted 7/13/12

PROVIDENCE – Brown University is still considering whether to permanently rename its Joe Paterno ’50 Award, given to a freshman male athlete, following the release of a report that indicates the former Penn State football coach helped conceal former colleague Jerry Sandusky’s criminal activities.

The Brown award since 1993 had honored the school’s late alumnus, who was fired by Penn State amid the sex-abuse scandal involving Sandusky. But this spring the award was given under the name First-Year Male Athlete Award, without Paterno’s name attached.

Last November, when the scandal broke and Paterno was fired, the university said it would consider whether to rename the award that was named for Paterno, who was a quarterback for Brown from 1946-1949.

An investigation by former FBI director Louis Freech released this week indicates Paterno helped conceal Sandusky’s criminal activities by failing to report him to authorities in 1998.

A Brown University spokesperson said Friday that in light of that report, the university “will make a decision about the naming of the award in future years.”

Sandusky was defensive coordinator at Penn State from 1977 until his retirement in 1999. He was convicted in June of 45 of 48 charges of sexual abuse of young boys over a 15-year period.

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