By Harry Allison

Spotlight Pa is reporting that Penn State trustees and high-ranking university representatives met privately twice in January to discuss whether to name the football field at Beaver Stadium after former coach Joe Paterno, according to three people with direct knowledge of the conversations.

The meetings potentially violate a state law that requires governing bodies to conduct business in public view, and continue a decadelong pattern of the board convening behind closed doors.

A group of trustees are pushing to name the football field after Paterno, while board and university officials are hesitant, according to the three sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak openly about the discussions.

The board fired Paterno in 2011 during the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. A statue of Paterno outside the football stadium was removed, and the NCAA vacated more than 100 wins from Paterno’s record. The wins were later restored, and Paterno holds the record for most wins in NCAA football history with 409.

The trustees met for hours on Jan. 16 for a “briefing” on the matter — a gathering not previously disclosed to the public — and again Jan. 29 in “executive session,” according to the sources. The meetings were held behind closed doors to avoid public discussions on the topic, the sources said.

When asked for comment on the meetings, an unnamed Penn State spokesperson wrote via email: “​​The Administration and the Board of Trustees have embarked on numerous change initiatives based on President Bendapudi’s vision and goals and are focused on these priorities to continue to provide a world-class academic and student experience for years to come.”

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