“The JoePas” are no more.
The all-male a cappella group formerly known as “The JoePas” joined organizations such as Nittanyville, Nike, and Penn State itself in their cutting of ties with the condemned former coach, formally announcing a name change to “The Statesmen” on August 24.
The group’s musical director, Jim Hogan, offered a tidbit on organizations cutting references to Paterno from their names, saying that “every group and organization has their own reason for why they chose to use the Paterno name.” Thus, going along with Jim’s point, it’s important to first examine the origins of “The Statesmen” to understand why exactly they decided to eschew their former name, “The JoePas.”
During August of last year, Hogan and three fellow musical theatre majors sought to fill the void of all-male a cappella groups at Penn State, settling on an identity modeled after the Paterno ideal, “Success with Honor”. The “JoePas” were thus born, dressed identically in homage to Paterno’s classic sideline attire, performing Penn State classics on the sidewalks of State College. The fledgling a cappella group enjoyed early success, placing second in the semi-finals of the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella and recently recording an album to be released in December.