Nike Drops Paterno Name From Child Care Facility

Jul 12, 2012

Shoe giant Nike is dropping the name Joe Paterno from the childcare facility at the company's Beaverton headquarters. It's more fall-out from a new report saying Paterno and other Penn State officials hid critical information about child sex abuse.

At Paterno's memorial service in January, Nike founder Phil Knight recalled the words he spoke to the Penn State coach after the death of legendary University of Oregon coach Bill Bowerman.

"I said, 'I'm not asking your permission. I'm just telling you. You're my new hero.'"

As the Penn State sex abuse scandal unfolded, Nike resisted calls to change the name of the Joe Paterno Child Development Center. Now Nike CEO Mark Parker says the new findings document "a terrible tragedy" and that the facility will get a new name.

Randy Ellison, with Oregon Abuse Advocates and Survivors in Service, called the decision "fantastic."

"I think the report used the phrase 'total and consistent disregard to the safety and welfare of children,'" he says. "And then he's going to have his name on a child care center?"

In a statement, Phil Knight said Paterno made "missteps that led to heartbreaking consequences" but that his love for the man remains.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

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