UNIVERSITY PARK, PA: Outgoing PSU President Rodney Erickson rejected a proposal from an alumni group to rename Beaver Stadium to Paterno Field.
Erickson, whose title was changed from “Interim President” to “President” without the knowledge of Ken Frazier and Ron Tomalis, revealed he never wanted to be President because he didn’t like to make decisions.
When asked about his rejection of the proposal of the new name of the stadium, Erickson remarked, “I was hoping that issue wouldn’t have come up before I retired. Fortunately, when it did, I was able to reach out to some of the trustees who recommended against it. I have absolute faith in those trustees. I signed the NCAA Consent Decree based on their advice.”
I then asked Erickson what he learned from his experience as President.
“I have learned a great deal from my experience in the aftermath of the Sandusky scandal. I think one of the greatest lessons I learned was the value of our traditions here at Penn State. To rename the stadium, I think would upset many of the alumni who sat in Beaver Stadium all those years on fall Saturdays. I’m sure most of them can still remember, as I do, that famous stadium cheer: PENN STATE….LIVES HERE!
The NCAA’s Mark Emmert also agreed with Penn State’s decision on the matter.
“If there is one thing that sets college football apart from professional sports it’s the traditions. We tend to be traditionalists who want to see the Big Ten er, Eleven er, ah, whatever, square off in the Rose Bowl against the Pac-10, er, I mean, Pac-12."
As I looked at Emmert with a raised eyebrow, he knew that I knew he was full of crap, so he quickly changed his reasoning.
“Well, to be honest, I think that you still have some traditions that shouldn’t be messed with," remarked Emmert. "When I was President of Washington we played at Huskie Stadium and when I was at LSU, the games were played at Tiger Stadium. I see no reason why Penn State wouldn’t want to keep their stadium named after their mascot.”