The league announced in light of the series of events that have recently unfolded at Penn State, including grand jury indictments, an ongoing grand jury investigation, a U.S. Department of Education investigation, the Board of Trustees’ dismissal of Paterno and the Board of Trustees’ appointment of a Special Investigation Committee, it would remove Paterno’s name from the championship trophy.
The trophy will be awarded at the Big Ten's inaugural football championship game Dec. 3 in Indianapolis.
“We believe that it would be inappropriate to keep Joe Paterno’s name on the trophy at this time,” Delany said. “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 to be presented in Indianapolis next month will now be called the "Stagg Championship Trophy," named after Amos Alonzo Stagg, who coached football at the University of Chicago, a founding member of the Big Ten, from 1892-1932. Stagg compiled a 199-94-22 record while the University of Chicago was a member of the Big Ten, including national championships in 1905 and 1913.
The great grandson of Stagg, Robert Stagg of Grand Rapids, Mich., said Monday the family deferred to the Big Ten on the decision. Stagg told CBSSports.com last week the family would have issues with the trophy's name if Paterno was found "complicit" in the Sandusky scandal.
"We as a family are deferring to them (Big Ten). It was a proper thing to do," Robert Stagg told CBSSports.com. "They have a lot more people to consider things. I pretty much let them steer the whole process. They were aware we were interested in how things were going to play out."
Asked for a reaction to Paterno's name being removed from the trophy, Stagg said: "I still think it’s too early in the process to make a judgement. It’s such an unfortunate situation. I just have a feeling there is a lot more coming out."Paterno was fired on Wednesday night for his failure to notify police about the sexual abuse allegations of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
Saturday, in Penn State's first game since Paterno was fired - the Nittany Lions' first without Paterno as head coach since 1966 and the first game since Nov. 19, 1949, Paterno was neither a Penn State head coach or assistant - the Nittany Lions lost to Nebraska 17-14.
However, the Nittany Lions (8-1, 5-2 Big Ten) still lead the Big Ten's Leaders Division by one-game over Wisconsin (8-2, 4-2). Penn State visits Ohio State Saturday and Wisconsin visits Illinois. No matter the outcome of the Penn State-Ohio State contest, if Wisconsin wins at Illinois, the Badgers and Nittany Lions will play Nov. 26 in Madison, Wis., for the Leaders Division title and berth in the inaugural Big Ten championship game. Penn State would clinch the Leaders Division title by beating Ohio State and if Wisconsin lost to Illinois Saturday.
In the Legends Division, Michigan State (8-2, 5-1) owns a one-game lead over Michigan (8-2, 4-2) and Nebraska (8-2, 4-2). The Spartans will win the Legends Division by winning their final two games against Indiana and Northwestern. Nebraska visits Michigan Saturday. Both the Cornhuskers and Wolverines must win out and need a Michigan State loss to have any chance at winning the Legends Division.