Before it could be awarded, the trophy for the winner of the Big Ten Conference Football Championship has been changed from the Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy to just the Stagg Championship Trophy.
Conference Commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement released this afternoon that given the scandal at Penn State — where a former assistant football coach has been charged with sexually abusing young boys and head coach Joe Paterno was fired after coming under criticism for not doing enough to investigate reports of the alleged abuse — "it would be inappropriate to keep Joe Paterno's name on the trophy at this time."
"The trophy and its namesake are intended to be celebratory and aspirational, not controversial," Delany added "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."
Amos Alonzo Stagg coached at the University of Chicago "from 1892-1932, leading the Maroons to national championships in 1905 and 1913," as the Big Ten reminds us.
The Big Ten Championship game is set to be played in Indianapolis on Dec. 3.