Pennsylvania State University football coach Joe Paterno, who died 11 weeks after being fired for his handling of a child-sex scandal, should have his name on the school’s stadium, a Quinnipiac University poll found.
Pennsylvania voters support renaming Beaver Stadium as Joe Paterno Stadium by 46 percent to 40 percent, according to the poll released yesterday.
“There is lingering respect for Joe Paterno,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in Hamden, Connecticut.
Paterno coached the Nittany Lions to 409 wins, a record at college football’s highest level. The victories included two national championships and a record 24 bowl victories in 46 seasons as head coach at one of college football’s most prestigious programs.
He was fired Nov. 9 after being criticized for failing to contact police when told of a case involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who was charged with assaulting boys in the school’s athletic complex. He died of lung cancer Jan. 22.
College football fans were in favor of renaming the stadium 55 percent to 37 percent, while non-fans were opposed 44 percent to 37 percent, the poll found.
“One has to wonder: If the Sandusky scandal had never happened whether support for renaming the stadium would have approached 100 percent,” Malloy said.
The university surveyed 1,256 registered voters by telephone from March 7-12. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.
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