The PSU Daily Collegian reports that a State College-area radio station has begun a petition to rechristen Park Avenue as “Paterno Way,” after recently-departed former Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno. The petition has more than 4,000 signatures.
The idea for the petition came to [93.7 The Bus Program Director Tony] Ricciardi months before the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case and Paterno’s removal as head football coach. At the time, Ricciardi said he was thinking of the perfect tribute to Paterno for when he would retire.
Ricciardi said he wanted to rename the street Paterno Way, as opposed to Paterno Avenue, so it would remind people of Paterno’s model of “success with honor.”
“Paterno set the tone for the culture of Penn State and made it into what it is today,” Ricciardi said.
That’s a statement that a lot of people outside State College will find ironic, given the circumstances behind Paterno’s recent departure. But Paterno is still a hero to many residents of State College, and even some fans who agreed with the Board of Trustees’ decision to fire him would probably ultimately prefer to remember the many positive contributions Paterno made to PSU and State College rather than only the scandal that brought him down.