As Penn State University faces unprecedented NCAA sanctions, PSU president Rodney Erickson (pictured) announced on Sunday that the school had decided to remove its Joe Paterno statue. "I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse,” Erickson said in a statement to CBS News, citing it as a source of division and an obstacle to healing.

The famed 7-foot-tall, 900-pound bronze statue was erected in 2001 in honor of Paterno’s contributions to the university, but its presence has been increasingly questioned as reports emerge that the once-revered football coach concealed sex abuse claims against assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The statue was forklifted out of Beaver Stadium on Sunday morning as over 100 students chanted “We are Penn State.”

The university is now facing penalties of $60 million and a four-year bowl ban, stopping short of a so-called 'death penalty' that would have shut down the football team entirely for at least one season.

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