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Joe Paterno’s family will not push to rename the stadium

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(Keith Srakocic/AP)

Joe Paterno's family turned down a chance to have the legendary coach's name grace the stadium where he coached for 46 years.

[ Related: Joe Paterno honored during charity 5K race in State College ]

As part of Paterno's final contract payout, university officials offered to name Beaver Stadium or the football field after Paterno, and Paterno's family said no, according to The Patriot-News.

The only place on campus Paterno cared to bear his name has already been honoring his contribution for more than 10 years. It's the library where Paterno and his wife donated millions.

A source close to the Paterno family says renaming the field would still be "a tremendous and humbling honor," but it "has always been a fan-driven matter. It was never important to Joe."

So in January, when Penn State tried to use the issue as leverage to get the family to sign a full release in exchange for paying the full contract, the family didn't budge, the source said.

Even if the family isn't pursuing the renaming of the stadium, the fans are. During Penn State's Blue-White game on Saturday, a high school student named Blake Tobias Jr. and his father stood outside of the stadium with a renaming petition and gathered more than 60,000 signatures before kickoff.

Even Jay Paterno signed the petition.

[ More on Penn State: Go to BlueWhiteIllustrated.com ]

Blake Tobias Sr. told The Patriot-News that he received an email "OK" from Scott Paterno to start the effort to rename the stadium.

"Joe would have never asked for it, and his family wouldn't ask for it," Blake Tobias Sr. told The Patriot-News. "It's something I think the fans want to do, more so than looking at it the other way."

The Tobiases would like the field named after Paterno, and Beaver, named after the 20th governor of Pennsylvania and big Penn State football fan James A. Beaver, would remain on the stadium.

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