"I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse," he added.
Sunday, Penn State employees began placing fencing around the statue, as well as a tarp. Local and university police were at the scene, and some students gathered near the football field, Beaver Stadium.
Another tribute to Paterno -- the university library that bears his name -- will remain as it is, Erickson said.
"The library remains a tribute to Joe and Sue Paterno's commitment to Penn State's student body and academic success, and it highlights the positive impacts coach Paterno had on the university," he wrote.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called Paterno "a powerful man who acted selfishly" who "deserves no public honors whatsoever."
"We're glad the statue is gone but that's just a tiny step forward," SNAP spokesman David Clohessy said in a statement. "We as a society must learn that a good way to deter child sex cover-ups is to punish, not praise, those who instigate such cover-ups."
Sandusky is expected to be sentenced in September. His legal team has said it will appeal the convictions.
Two former university administrators are awaiting trial for their role in the scandal, and more charges are possible as the state's attorney general investigates what Penn State may have known about Sandusky's behavior.