DURHAM, N.C.- Just days after taking down a controversial statue of Robert E. Lee from the entrance to its chapel, Duke University has found and installed a replacement: the statue of Joe Paterno that was removed from Penn State University after the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
The move surprised observers in the higher education community, who expected the replacement to be a statue of either Julian Abele, the African-American architect who designed much of Duke’s campus, or whichever NCAA official gives UNC the death penalty for its academic scandal. According to Duke University spokesman Dick Vitale, the institution became aware that the state of Pennsylvania was looking to sell the statue to raise money to help solve its annual budget crisis and made an offer early Saturday morning, outbidding a group of Japanese investors who are believed to have been planning to use the statue in a game show. When asked how much Duke had paid for the statue, Vitale spent ten minutes describing an irrelevant anecdote involving Syracuse University men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim before declaring that Indiana University needs to rename its basketball arena after former head coach Bobby Knight. Other sources confirmed that the deal included Duke agreeing, as a favor to Penn State, to invoke the “no backsies” clause in case the University of Maryland sought to leave the Big Ten and rejoin the ACC.
Reaction to the move on Duke’s campus and in the wider Durham community was mixed. When asked how a depiction of Paterno fit onto Duke’s campus, Dean of Students Barry Bigbird explained, “Although Joe Paterno didn’t have any direct connections to Duke, his journey from New York City to a university campus in the middle of the woods mirrors that of most of our students. Also, although he was a devout Catholic, Paterno also had the foresight to get the heck over himself, give up the ‘independent’ shtick, and join a conference already, unlike a certain football program in South Bend, Indiana, that couldn’t even beat our football team last year.” Bigbird went on to say that since he doesn’t expect Duke to beat Notre Dame in football very often, he intends to milk this one for all it’s worth. Most of Duke’s faculty was unavailable for comment due to being too busy smacking themselves in the forehead for obsessing over a false rape allegation against the university’s lacrosse team while ignoring a real live Confederate statue, but one history professor pointed out that this wasn’t the worst thing to happen to Robert E. Lee involving the state of Pennsylvania. Local factions of the Antifa movement cancelled a planned protest of the Lee statue; sources within the movement confirmed that the groups will protest the nearby B. Everett Jordan Lake as soon as they figure out who B. Everett Jordan was and how they can accuse him of racism.
In a move to placate conservative Southern alumni, Duke’s anthropology department announced it is conducting research to find remote tribes in the South Pacific that would be willing to worship the Lee statue as a god.