Nike Dropping Joe Paterno’s Name From Its Day-Care Center

by Angela Nazworth | July 13, 2012 9:56 am

[1]Following Thursday’s release of an independent report[2] from former FBI director Louis Freeh, Nike (NYSE:NKE[3]) has decided to remove Joe Paterno’s name from its child-care center.

Freeh’s report states that as early as 1988, the former Penn State football coach failed to take actions that could have stopped the sexual abuse afflicted on children by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky was found guilty of  a startling 45 counts of child abuse last month.

“With the findings released today, I have decided to change the name of our child-care center at our World Headquarters,” Nike President and CEO Mark Parker said in a press statement. “My thoughts are with the victims and the Penn State community.” Parker graduated from Penn State in 1977.

Nike founder Phil Knight, who was friends with Paterno, referred to the entire situation as heartbreaking, The Sports Xchange[4] reports.

“According to the investigation, it appears Joe made missteps that led to heartbreaking consequences,” Knight said in a statement. “I missed that Joe missed it, and I am extremely saddened on this day. My love for Joe and his family remains.”

Paterno, who was fired during the height of the scandal last November, passed away in January.

The Joe Paterno Child Development Center isn’t the first building to have its name changed as a result of a public scandal. Following the securities fraud conviction of former Tyco International (NYSE:TYC[5]) CEO Dennis Kozlowski, Seton Hall University renamed one of its buildings. What was once known as Kozlowski Hall now bears the name Jubilee Hall. And before the financial scandal that rocked the turn-of-the- 21st-century, Houston Astros’ Minute Maid Stadium bore the name Enron.

If Minute Maid, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO[6]), should ever fall from grace, the Astros will most-likely  shop out other name options.

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