The name of Joe Paterno is being dropped from a children's center by Nike Inc. after an investigation into the Penn State scandal involving Jerry Sandusky's child abuse suggested that the legendary football coach could have done more to help bring the allegations to light.
''It is a terrible tragedy that children were unprotected from such abhorrent crimes,'' said Nike Inc. Chief executive Mark Parker on Thursday. Because of the scandal, the Child Development Center in Portland will drop the "Joe Paterno" part of its name.
Paterno, along with others at the university, is said to have showed "callous and shocking disregard for child victims," the investigation found.
Nike founder Phil Knight has also expressed his dismay at the entire case. While he originally defended Paterno at his memorial service earlier this year, he now admits that not all the details of the case are clear and that Paterno and other Penn State officials could have done more to protect the children.
''It appears Joe made missteps that led to heartbreaking consequences. I missed that Joe missed it, and I am extremely saddened on this day,'' Knight said, and added: ''My love for Joe and his family remains.''
The Joe Paterno Child Development Center, as it was previously called, does not have a new name as yet. It was opened in the 1990s and remodeled in 2008. Nike, which is in partnership with the center, is known for giving its buildings names of popular sports starts, such as Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, Nolan Ryan and Mike Schmidt
The investigation into Penn State University, led by former FBI director Louis French, was conducted to determine who knew any details about the sex abuse claims made against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky was convicted of 45 criminal counts last month and is currently awaiting sentencing.