Joe Paterno and Amos Alonzo Stagg will remain tied in the record books, but they will no longer be linked together on the Big Ten’s new championship trophy.
The conference announced Monday that Paterno’s name would be removed from the trophy given to the winner of the just-established Big Ten championship game.
It will now be known as just the Stagg Championship Trophy, after the former long-time coach at the University of Chicago.
“We believe that it would be inappropriate to keep Joe Paterno’s name on the trophy at this time,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement. “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 trophy will be presented to the winner of that that first Big Ten title game on Dec. 3 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Penn State remains in first place of the Leaders Division for a spot in the contest.
Before his career came to a stunning end last week, Paterno was set to surpass Stagg for the most games coached in Division I football history. Both finished at 548 games.
Paterno was fired by Penn State Wednesday night in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal surrounding the university and its football program.
The 84-year-old former coach does not face criminal charges but said he wished he had done more to bring allegations against former assistant Jerry Sandusky to light.
As Tom Bradley tries to pick up the pieces from last week, Penn State’s interim coach said he must break the routine he had developed as defensive coordinator since 2000.
That includes having to integrate himself into the offense while not trying to do too much at the same time.
“I told everybody that for me to go over to offense and stick my nose in -- I really haven’t been on offense since I coached wide receivers in I think it was 1983,” Bradley said. “I’m going to try to spend some time on offense starting this week. Not so much with play calling and X’s and O’s, but I would really like to get around the players. I don’t get to spend enough time with the offensive players because I coach defense, I spend all my time knowing the personalities of my defensive players.
“The only guys I know on offense on a day-to-day basis are some of the players I recruited. My goal is to go over there and spend some time. I feel it’s necessary that I do that. If I’m going to get around them, I want to know their personalities and the way they do things over there because I’ve been away from it for so long. I’ve really got to let go and turn the reins of the defense over to Larry (Johnson) and Ron (Vanderlinden) and Kermit (Buggs).”
Twenty-three players were introduced before Saturday’s game as part of the senior day ceremony, as an approximate 317 former lettermen in attendance created a winding tunnel for them to run through.
A handful of those players who came out for their final game at Beaver Stadium still had a season of eligibility remaining, including Lake-Lehman grad Kenny Pollock.
The most surprising name was the first to be announced -- redshirt junior tailback Brandon Beachum.
Beachum played as a true freshman and tore an ACL toward the end of his sophomore season in 2009. He redshirted in 2010 before returning to be Silas Redd’s top backup to start this year, but injuries have limited him and it now appears he will be moving on.
Penn State will travel to Ohio State for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday on ABC.
The school also announced Monday that the Lions’ Nov. 26 finale at Wisconsin will also be a 3:30 p.m. start that will be shown locally on ABC.