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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — More than 200 former Penn State football players are petitioning university leaders to return the bronze statue of Joe Paterno that stood outside the school's football stadium.

The statue of the late football coach was removed in 2012. That was after his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of child sexual abuse and an investigation accused Paterno and other ex-officials of covering up complaints about Sandusky.

The players sent a letter Tuesday to the board of trustees and Penn State President Eric Barron calling for the statue's return. The players also want an apology to Paterno's wife, Sue, and the restoration of the wall that stood behind the statue.

A university spokesman says there will be "a time and a place" to acknowledge Paterno's legacy.