Paternoville no longer exists outside Penn State University’s football stadium.
The group that manages the encampment of students at Beaver Stadium for home games officially changed the location’s name to “Nittanyville” to return the focus to the team. Penn State students have camped out at the stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania, before each game since 1993 to get field- level seats. The area was termed “Paternoville” in 2005.
The switch comes less than a week after a probe by ex- Federal Bureau of Investigation director Louis Freeh found that late Nittany Lions football coach Joe Paterno and other school officials failed to protect children from sexual abuse by former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Paterno, who guided Penn State to 409 wins and two national championships, was fired in November and died in January.
“It’s a new era of Nittany Lion football,” Nittanyville President Troy Weller said on the website for the officially recognized student group. “And by changing the name to Nittanyville we want to return the focus to the overall team and the thousands of students who support it.”
Sandusky, 68, who spent 31 years as a defensive assistant under Paterno, was convicted last month on 45 criminal counts tied to the abuse of 10 boys over a 15-year period.
Paterno, former Penn State President Graham Spanier and university officials Timothy Curley and Gary Schultz repeatedly concealed critical facts surrounding Sandusky’s abuse in an attempt to avoid “bad publicity,” according to Freeh’s report. The abuse could have been stopped in 1998, Freeh said after the report’s release.
The Nittanyville Coordination Committee said students at the Beaver Stadium encampment will donate a portion of the proceeds from their fundraising efforts throughout the 2012 season to the newly established Center for the Protection of Children, based at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.