The image of Jerry Sandusky, once emblazoned across a renowned bookstore mural near the Penn State campus, has been replaced -- a move that the artist says he'd been waiting to make until the end of a child sexual abuse trial that's still fresh in the minds of many.
"I just couldn't have it up there," said Michael Pilato, who replaced Sandusky's picture with that of Dora McQuaid, a Penn State graduate, poet and advocate for sexual abuse victims.
"It's Happy Valley, but there's definitely a cloud over this town these days," Pilato said Tuesday, having painted two red handprints beside McQuaid's image on Sunday.
A blue ribbon was added to the rendering a day later, two months ahead of the fall school semester and just as the drumbeat for Nittany Lions football begins.
The university announced Friday that it had already sold out the student section of Beaver Stadium, with students purchasing more than 21,000 season football tickets.
The team's home opener against Ohio is scheduled for Sept. 1, leaving the program with the likely distraction of a Sandusky sentence just as the first post-Paterno season gets under way.
Following Friday's verdict, Judge John Cleland ordered the former defensive coordinator to a county jail to await sentencing for about 90 days. Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts related to child sex abuse. He continues to maintain his innocence.
But as Penn State grapples with the trial's aftermath, it still faces the related prosecution of two former university officials: Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley.
"Until the Schultz and Curley part gets taken care of, it won't be over," said Michael Rowe, a 27-year-old Penn State alumnus. "It's a huge scar."
Court proceedings involving the two ex-administrators are expected to begin in mid-July, according to Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania attorney general's office.