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Big Ten Takes Paterno’s Name Off Championship Trophy

The Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy will be called the Stagg Championship Trophy, Big Ten says

By Teresa Masterson
|  Monday, Nov 14, 2011  |  Updated 2:30 PM EDT
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Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno watches his team during practice on November 9, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania.

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The Big Ten has taken Joe Paterno's name off the Big Ten's football championship trophy.

"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 to NBC. "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."

The trophy, sans Paterno’s name, will be awarded Dec. 3 in Indianapolis after the first Big Ten title game.

Penn State fired Paterno, its longtime head coach, last week and investigations are under way into allegations of child sex-abuse involving a former assistant for the Nittany Lions.

The trophy had been named the Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy. Amos Alonzo Stagg won 319 games in 57 years, most at the University of Chicago. Paterno's 409 wins are the most by a major college coach.

The trophy will now be called the Stagg Championship Trophy, named after Amos Alonzo Stagg, who coached football at the University of Chicago.

The Big Ten’s full statement reads:

In light of the series of events that have recently unfolded at Penn State University, including Grand Jury indictments, an ongoing Grand Jury investigation, a U.S. Department of Education investigation, the Board of Trustees' dismissal of Penn State head coach Joe Paterno and the Board of Trustees' appointment of a Special Investigation Committee, the Big Ten Conference announced today that it will remove Paterno’s name from the Championship Trophy to be awarded at its inaugural Football Championship Game on December 3 in Indianapolis.

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