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The Early Lead
Posted at 12:42 PM ET, 11/14/2011

Big Ten removes Joe Paterno’s name from championship trophy


The Big Ten trophy no longer carries his name, but the statue of Joe Paterno at Penn State remains. Merrick Briggs, 6, climbed on it last week. (Matt Rourke / AP)
The name of Joe Paterno, who was fired as Penn State coach last week in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal, will be removed from the Big Ten Conference championship trophy.

The trophy, given to the winner of the first conference title game Dec. 3, was to have been called the Stagg-Paterno Trophy in honor of Paterno, major college football’s winningest coach, and Stagg, who coached the University of Chicago when it was a founding member of the conference. It will now be the Stagg Championship Trophy, although the two men are tied for the most NCAA games coached at 549.

“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.”

That may be difficult if one of the teams is Penn State.

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By  |  12:42 PM ET, 11/14/2011

 
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