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Penn State Football: Poll Shows Pennsylvania Voters Favor Renaming Beaver Stadium in Honor of Paterno

by on March 16, 2012 11:25 AM

Pennsylvania voters are in favor of renaming Beaver Stadium “Joe Paterno Stadium,” a Quinnipiac poll released Friday shows.

Forty-six percent of 1,256 polled support the name change in memory of the Hall of Fame football coach who passed away in January. 

Voters described as “very or somewhat interested in college football” show strong support for the move, as well as voters over age 65. The biggest opposition, however, comes from non-fans of college football, who opposed the name change, 44-37 percent.

“There is lingering respect for Joe Paterno,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a release.

"One has to wonder: If the Sandusky scandal had never happened whether support for renaming the stadium would have approached 100 percent."

Paterno was fired Nov. 9 for a failure of leadership in wake of the Sandusky scandal, the university Board of Trustees assert. He passed away at age 85 on Jan. 22 because of complications from lung cancer treatments.

A grassroots effort launched by a family from Mohrsville, Pa., just north of Reading, has pushed to rename the stadium “Paterno Field at Beaver Stadium.”

More than 58,000 people have signed that online petition as of Friday.

Beaver Stadium is named after James Addams Beaver, a former Civil War hero, state governor and Board of Trustees member.

Penn State is considering naming Paterno head coach emeritus but is expected to hold off on any more honors until an independent investigation of the Sandusky scandal is complete, expected this fall.

“Other options also are under consideration, but the Board feels it would be premature to make any final decision at least until the final report of the independent counsel Judge Louis Freeh is publicly issued in conjunction with the Special Investigations Task Force,” the Board stated in a report released March 12.

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Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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