Di Maria never met Paterno, and his one chance to greet the former coach — around the time of the statue's dedication — was scrapped. He said he was told Paterno was "sidetracked," and a planned luncheon never developed. Di Maria said he never heard from Paterno about the statue.
The artist also has not heard from Penn State about any plans for the statue should it be removed from the stadium in the near future.
Di Maria says his heart goes out to the victims. But he knows what Paterno meant to the community and the program before the scandal erupted, and he'd like those who knew him — at his best — to remember him as he is forever frozen in bronze.
"We must consider, I don't mean to make a comparison, but the kids that were attached to all the good, the good legacy that Joe Paterno left behind, are they becoming victims in their own respect by stripping them of this joy, of this experience with Joe Paterno," he asked. "The statue, everything that's associated with them in a positive way, do we have to pay attention to them also?
"Or should we just throw everything away that Joe Paterno ever did in a positive way?"
Time will tell.
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