Built into the by-laws of most sports Halls of Fame is something called a "character clause."
It's a loosely-defined metric meant to gauge whether a potential Hall of Famers' off-the-field conduct should prevent an athlete or coach from being honored.
The rules use words like integrity, sportsmanship and community to determine whether a sportsman or woman can be inducted into the prestigious club.
In 2007, the group inducted a still actively coaching Paterno alongside Florida State's Bobby Bowden, amending rules that required a candidate to be retired to qualify.
The Hall currently says in his biography, "No coach has been as synonymous with one school as has Penn State's Joe Paterno."
"More important than all of the wins and titles he has accumulated may be his legacy with the influence he has had on his players, Penn State Students and alumni," it reads.
In 1992 and 2006, the foundation awarded him the Distinguished American and the Gold Medal awards.
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