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The Penn St. Nittany Lions have a new coaching staff this year. Did you know that? Yeah, they brought on a new head coach and everything. It was pretty big in the news for a while. He might even actually get to join his new team soon, once the Patriots finally lose!
The transition will cost PSU $4.4 million in severance pay, acting athletic director Dave Joyner revealed. That includes money going the way of departed interim coach Tom Bradley and former offensive coordinator Jay Paterno, who weren't retained by new head coach Bill O'Brien.
The only two coaches to keep their spots by B.O'.B.: defensive line coach Larry Johnson and linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden. Just in case anybody's wondering, no, former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky isn't included in any of this. He hadn't coach in many a year.
Related: Jerry Sandusky fallout, replacing Joe Paterno, and Penn State's movement to support sexual abuse survivors. For more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries. More college football news.
Before getting angry about this, understand it's completely normal: Joe Paterno is still employed by Penn State, despite the decision to relieve him of his duties during the 2011 football season. The Penn State Board of Trustees made the unanimous decision to strip away his title of head football coach, but is continuing to work on a retirement package in accordance with his status as a tenured faculty member.
In explaining its decision to remove Paterno, Board of Trustees chairman Steve Garban and vice chair John Surma released a statement on Thursday. While the board felt Paterno had to be removed from his post immediately, they still intend to honor the terms of his contract.
Coach Paterno remains employed by the University as a tenured faculty member. The details of his retirement are being worked out and will be made public when they are finalized. Generally speaking, the University intends to honor the terms of his employment contract and is treating him financially as if he had retired at the end of the 2011 football season
In the meantime, Penn State has hired Bill O'Brien as head coach and his staff is nearly complete as the Nittany Lions continue to move forward into life without Paterno at the helm.
Jay Paterno, son of Joe Paterno and Penn St. Nittany Lions assistant coach for 17 seasons, released a statement Tuesday announcing that he would not remain on the Penn State coaching staff under new coach .
After talking with Coach Bill O’Brien we have reached the conclusion that I will not be a part of the Penn State football staff moving forward.
As for Penn Staters, I cannot even begin to express what your support has meant to me and my family over the past seventeen seasons and in particular the past two months. Through the tumult of the past several weeks, it has been your stalwart support combined with life lessons learned from Joe Paterno that has and continue to sustain us.
Paterno worked the last 12 seasons as the quarterbacks coach for the Nittany Lions. There was no word on whether or not he would coach elsewhere.
For more on the Nittany Lions, head to Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries.
Ted Roof, already leaving Auburn for Central Florida, is now apparently headed to Happy Valley.
Central Florida Knights defensive coordinator Ted Roof has had quite a coaching career. As of late, he led the Auburn Tigers to some of the worst defenses in school history, followed shortly later by a shuttling to UCF. Now, rumors have ushered forth that he could land a job on Bill O'Brien's first Penn St. Nittany Lions coaching staff:
@coachingsearch Sources tell me that UCF defensive coordinator Ted Roof will be joining the Penn State staff.
Not necessarily as the DC, mind you, though Roof's expertise is linebackery, and PSU's retained its linebackers coach.
For now, let's call it a rumor that's a little too strange to have zero truth to it. After all, O'Brien spoke well of Roof at his introductory press conference, so perhaps there's been a courtesy interview of some sort. (Let's also remember he's had a very, very quick stint in his past.)
But unless the argument is that Auburn's defense lacked talent (like Nick Fairley!), not sure how Nittany Lions fans are supposed to respond to this rumor.
Related: Jerry Sandusky fallout, replacing Joe Paterno, and Penn State's movement to support sexual abuse survivors. For more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries. More college football news.
New Penn St. Nittany Lions head coach Bill O'Brien is making quick work of his first staff, announcing early on that he'll be keeping defensive line coach and ace recruiter Larry Johnson, Sr. In addition, he'll retain current PSU linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden and strength coach John Thomas.
As far as coordinators go, O'Brien himself has mentioned the name of new Central Florida Knights defensive coordinator Ted Roof (" ... one of my closest friends ... "), while former Maryland Terrapins head coach Ralph Friedgen has come up as the leading offensive coordinator rumor. There's nothing solid to go on there, but that's the chatter.
Keeping three Nittany Lions coaches should help somewhat soothe concerns that the new regime wouldn't be Penn State enough. While most fans would've preferred to see defensive coordinator Tom Bradley stick around, there are at least a few critical links remaining on Penn State's best side of the ball.
The first new guy: Tennessee Titans quality control assistant Charles London, who'll take over as running backs coach. Black Shoe Diaries wouldn't mind if he could expand PSU's recruiting turf a little bit:
Coach London is from the Georgia area, played college ball at Duke (including time on the Duke track team as a sprinter), and will hopefully bring some southern connections to Penn State.
Related: Jerry Sandusky fallout, replacing Joe Paterno, and Penn State's movement to support sexual abuse survivors. For more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries. More college football news.
Bill O'Brien was introduced as Penn State's next head coach in a press conference on Saturday, but he won't leave the New England Patriots until after the 2012 NFL playoffs.
New Penn St. Nittany Lions head coach Bill O'Brien will be formally introduced Saturday morning. He'll be asked questions, hopefully not by any of these people. But even Rich Rodriguez himself when he was hired at Michigan wasn't stepping into a press conference as volatile as this one.
O'Brien will be asked by the lack of support his hire has already stirred up among former players, who felt excluded from the coaching search process. He'll be asked about what could be a vanishing recruiting class, what he'll do if he has to coach with the Patriots through February, his plans to seal ties between the school and community, his discipline standards, and on and on. Again, unless these people show up.
TV time and online streaming viewing information:
The Penn St. Nittany Lions have officially announced that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will be the next head coach of their football program.
O'Brien will be the 15th head coach in school history and replaces Joe Paterno, who was fired as part of the fallout over a sexual abuse scandal centered around former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
"The Penn State football program has a great legacy and has contributed enormously to our University community," PSU president Rodney A. Erickson said. "A program of this caliber requires a special kind of leader - a leader who will embrace that legacy and maintain the University's commitment to excellence on the field and in the classroom. We have that leader in Coach O'Brien, and I look forward to working with him in his new role."
O'Brien has 14 years of college coaching experience, working at Georgia Tech from 1995-2002, serving as the school's offensive coordinator the final two seasons before coaching at Maryland (2003-04) and Duke (2005-06). O'Brien has been with the Patriots since 2007, coaching the quarterbacks from 2009 and adding offensive coordinator duties prior to the 2011 season.
O'Brien is expected to remain with the Patriots during the playoff run.
"I am thrilled to be the head coach of the Penn State football program," stated O'Brien. "I cannot tell you how excited I am to get started, meet the team, meet the football alumni and meet all of the people that make this University so special. As head coach of this special football program, it is my responsibility to ensure that this program represents the highest level of character, respect and integrity in everything we do. That includes my coaching staff, our players and everyone involved in the football program. There is tremendous pride in Penn State football and will never, ever take that for granted."
After naming New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien the next full-time head coach of the Penn St. Nittany Lions, interim head coach Tom Bradley has been relieved of his duties, the Altoona Mirror reports.
Contrary to an ESPN report that stated Bradley was no longer employed by the school, Bradley informed the Mirror that, for now, he remains on the team's coaching staff.
"Yeah I'm on the staff," Bradley said. "No one got terminated. ... They told me I'm not going to be the next head coach. That's what they told me."
Bradley has been on the Penn State coaching staff for 33 years and has been the team's defensive coordinator since the 2000 season. Bradley replaced fired head coach Joe Paterno in November and guided the Panthers to a 1-3 record.
There are no assurances or guarantees that Bradley or any of the current Nittany Lions coaching staff will be a part of O'Brien's inaugural coaching staff.
If you took a poll of Penn St. Nittany Lions fans on new head coach Bill O'Brien right now, you'd find a dismal figure staring back at you. Former players are just about frothing, the message boards are aflame -- but you know what? There are already positives.
Recruits like the idea of playing for Tom Brady's coordinator, for one thing.
For the definitive take on Penn State sports, I turn to Black Shoe Diaries, and not just because they're on our network. It's a hilarious, well-written, well-staffed site, one not at all prone to hitting the ceiling even in the most trying times. And these are trying times!
Would you like to read eight smart Penn State fans express themselves on what the hire means for Penn State football? If you read one thing about Bill O'Brien, it should be this.
Also, from Big Ten blog Off Tackle Empire, three points Penn State needed that O'Brien just might be able to provide:
While Bill O'Brien is not a "home run" "slam dunk" hire, maybe he addresses three key criteria that are vital to the program right now: 1) distance from the Sandusky-involved past; 2) a disciplinarian who will minimize bad news going forward; and 3) results on the field (yes, this is not completely ruled out before he is announced as head coach).
Here's the first official confirmation that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will be introduced as the next head coach of the Penn St. Nittany Lions: Pats owner Robert Kraft has publicly congratulated him on the new gig. While PSU has yet to announce it -- they're expected to unveil O'Brien on Saturday -- Kraft's a pretty reliable source here, wouldn't you say?
Kraft to the Boston Herald:
"I'm sad to lose him. I told him that," Kraft said earlier this morning in a phone conversation with Karen Guregian. "We have a philosophy in our company, that if anyone has an opportunity and we can't match it - we did have the ability to deny him under our contract - but this is one of the great college coaching positions. they have their challenges right now.
"Billy is a very high quality guy, he's got integrity. he's honest, and I'm sad to see him go," Kraft went on, "but I think they've chosen wisely."
O'Brien was with New England since 2007, rising through the ranks and becoming offensive coordinator in 2011. Whatever may come of his college head coaching career, I think we can all comfortably assume he's indeed a person of integrity. That had to have been Penn State's No. 1 qualification for the job.
According to reports, Penn State will soon introduce Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien as Joe Paterno's replacement. What did Bill O'Brien ever do to anybody, anyway?
The Penn State coaching search has been long and awkward, as it seemed like no one really wanted the position in wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. But the Nittany Lions have reportedly found their man in New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, but he's been met with a lot of resistance by Penn State fans and alumni. It has caused a lot of people to say, "Who the hell is Bill O'Brien?"
O'Brien actually has a very extensive college coaching resume, just not as a head coach. He began his college coaching career in 1993 as the tight ends coach at his alma mater Brown University, where he played defensive end. He moved from tight ends coach to coach inside linebackers in 1994. After the 1994 season with Brown, O'Brien took an offensive graduate assistant position at Georgia Tech. O'Brien stayed on the Georgia Tech coaching staff for eight years.
In 1998, O'Brien was promoted to running backs coach and held that position until after the 2000 season when he was then promoted to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under then head coach George O'Leary. O'Brien left Georgia Tech after the 2002 season when Chan Gailey took over as head coach, getting a position at Maryland as the running backs coach for the 2003-2004 seasons. O'Brien moved to be the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Duke, where he spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons. In that span while O'Brien was the offensive coordinator, Duke was in the midst of a 22-game losing streak. In those seasons, Duke averaged 16.1 and 14.9 points per game, respectively.
After O'Brien's stint with Duke, he was hired as an offensive assistant with the New England Patriots, but did not hold a specific position. O'Brien was assigned to coach the wide receivers in 2008 and then the quarterbacks from 2009-2010. O'Brien was given play calling duties when Josh McDaniels left to coach the Denver Broncos after the 2008 season, but O'Brien was not officially promoted to offensive coordinator until the 2011 season. Under O'Brien as a play caller, the Patriots had one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL and also saw quarterback Tom Brady throw for over 5,000 yards on the season for the first time of his career.
There are concerns with the fact that O'Brien has no head coaching experience whatsoever, but he has spent 15 years of his coaching career in the NCAA so he does have some credibility at the amateur level.
For more on Bill O'Brien and Penn State football, visit SB Nation's Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries.
Never let it be said former Penn St. Nittany Lions and Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington lacks school spirit, even in the darkest times. Here he is speaking to the crowd at that Friday night candlelight vigil in remembrance of Jerry Sandusky's alleged victims.
But with Penn State reportedly hiring NFL assistant Bill O'Brien as its head coach, putting a man with no impressive college experience or head coaching experience of any kind in charge of one of the nation's largest programs, it was just a bit too much for Arrington, who took to Twitter before hitting the air waves for his day job:
PSU is hiding something; there's way more going on there!
By the board doing what they've done they have in their minds effectively made Joe [Paterno] and the football team a scapegoat when in fact they are the very people that should've been fired due to the lack of action!
Alums I will always love you and the Penn State I knew. but until there's a new board and new leadership they can have their corrupt/disgusting school that they've created. I'm done all my PSU stuff will be down before obriens introduction! We are! No more for me!
There's the sense that the school has gone out of its way to make a show of de-emphasizing football in the wake of the Sandusky scandal.
The Penn St. Nittany Lions' coaching search reportedly came to an abrupt end Thursday night when various reports indicated the storied program had found its man -- New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien. It's a decision that, if accurate -- the school is supposed to make it official Saturday -- will be met with less than favorable reviews by the Penn State fanbase it would seem.
But what of the other fanbase impacted by this move? Nearly as quickly as the report surfaced, questions from Patriots fans and reporters followed, wondering if O'Brien would stay with the team throughout the NFL Playoffs, as OC Charlie Weis did when Notre Dame hired him, or if he'd depart immediately to get a start on recruiting. Well, now we have an answer, per ESPN's Adam Schefter:
New Penn State coach Bill O'Brien will continue to serve as the Patriots offensive coordinator for the rest of the season.
And while that's good news for Tom Brady and company -- the Patriots are the No. 1 seed in the AFC -- it's probably not what Penn State fans wanted to hear.
Great for Pats O'Brien is sticking thru playoffs. Not great for PSU. When I covered Miss. St, Croom did Packers/MSU. Killed recruiting class
For more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries.
Late Thursday night, ESPN's Chris Mortensen broke the news that the Penn St. Nittany Lions were set to make New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien the team's new head football coach, with an official announcement coming Saturday. It didn't take long for the confirmations from various reporters to start rolling in.
First, CBS' Mike Freeman confirmed that O'Brien had indeed "agreed to become the coach of Penn State," citing the always popular "team source." It would be the first head coaching position for O'Brien at any level.
O'Brien's move is high risk/high reward. The Penn State job is one of the toughest now in football for obvious reasons. He could easily fail. But imagine if O'Brien turns things around there. He'd be an instant star and would have his picks of many great jobs in the NFL. If he wanted them.
Then, Ian Rapoport, a Patriots reporter for the Boston Herald -- so, a guy who spends every day with the team -- took to Twitter to share the news, narrowly getting beat on the scoop by Mortensen:
I am told that Patriots OC Bill O'Brien is informing people around the NFL that he has agreed to become Penn St.'s coach
O'Brien was slated to interview in Jacksonville, for instance. That won't happen now.
For my PSU peeps: O'Brien is loud & charismatic, smart & creative. He gives it to Brady like he's a rookie. He coaches hard. You'll like him
it's not yet known wether O'Brien will stay with the Patriots throughout the NFL Playoffs or if he will head to Happy Valley to get started on his new gig (New England, the No. 1 seed in the AFC, has a bye this week). If history is a guide, Charlie Weis stayed on as offensive coordinator with New England through the 2004-05 postseason before leaving to start his job at Notre Dame.
New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will become the new head football coach of the Penn St. Nittany Lions, this according to a report by ESPN's Chris Mortensen, who says the school plans to make an official announcement on Saturday.
Earlier on Thursday, it was confirmed that O'Brien was not in attendance at Patriots' practice, reportedly because he was too busy interviewing for the Penn State opening.
O'Brien, 42, whose coaching career began as the tight ends coach at Brown University in 1993, has been with New England since 2007, serving as an offensive assistant, wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach, and, officially beginning in 2011, the team's offensive coordinator (he was essentially the OC in 2009-10, when the team did not have anyone with the offensive coordinator title).
New England Patriots offensive coordinator has been reported as the front-runner for the still-vacant Penn St. Nittany Lions head coaching job. He's reportedly becoming one of the very few candidates to earn an interview, which Pats coach Bill Belichick stopped short of confirming Thursday.
Still, Belichick noting that O'Brien wasn't at New England practice is the answer we need. The Patriots have a bye week, but offensive coordinators don't just skip practices during the NFL playoffs for no good reason.
O'Brien hasn't worked a college job since 2006, when he concluded a run of mostly position coaching jobs at various middlin' ACC schools. He has no head coaching experience, and only five years of coordinator experience.
While New England Patriots offensive coordinator being close to taking the job), he will interview for the head coaching position on Thursday, reports USA Today. Penn State has been without a permanent head coach since early November when Joe Paterno was fired after the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke.isn't the Penn State coach yet (rumors earlier pegged him as
Penn State has been rejected by Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak and most recently Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano. San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman has been one of several candidates who has actually interviewed for the job. One name that has also popped up over the couple of months has been Boise St. Broncos head coach Chris Petersen, but a new five-year contract appears to have ended any further speculation.
While Greg Schiano's name just doesn't seem to go away in connection with Penn State's coaching job, the Rutgers coach reportedly is still not interested. Schiano was once a Penn State assistant.
A source says Rutgers coach Greg Schiano did not interview for Penn State job and is not interested.— Ron Musselman (@rmusselmanppg) January 4, 2012
The desire to link Schiano to Penn State does make sense. In addition to being a former assistant, having spent six years there mostly as a defensive backs coach, some reports surfaced that a Penn State private jet had been visiting Schiano's neighborhood around Christmas. It would also make sense that Penn State would be looking to make a bit of a splash with the man they choose to replace the winningest coach in NCAA history, something Schiano's hiring would accomplish.
All that said, maybe this is all just smoke and no fire. You can't really blame guys like Schiano for wanting to steer clear of the situation.
For years, Rutgers Scarlet Knights Greg Schiano was considered one of the top candidates to replace Joe Paterno as Penn St. Nittany Lions head coach. Shortly after Paterno's exit, he'd denied interest, but now that you mention it ... why did Greg Schiano rumors go away altogether, exactly?
StateCollege.com's Mike Poorman and our own Ben Jones report Schiano's name has stayed alive in the agent community in connection to Penn State, even though the public had moved on. The duo also report four recent visits by a PSU private jet to Schiano's neck of the woods since Dec. 26.
It's worth noting, as the report does, that a search committee member lives within range of those airports, so this isn't a dead giveaway that Schiano is soon to be hired. However, there's a good bit to go on if you'd like to think Penn State's at least looking beyond just the anonymous NFL assistant coach market for the man to replace the winningest coach in Division I football history.
Schiano's 68-67 at Rutgers, turning a three-wins-in-two-years operation into a program that's won five bowls in the last six years.
Are you starting to get the sense the Penn St. Nittany Lions are looking through the NFL ranks for their next head coach? I'm sort of getting that picture. In addition to Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien, let's add San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, according to Tom Dienhart:
@BTNTomDienhart I have learned 49ers OC Greg Roman is a candidate for the Penn State job. He interviewed a month ago and recently talked again with PSU.
Maybe the plan is to attempt to convince the NCAA that Penn State is actually a NFL team?
If New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is going to soon be named the next head coach of the Penn St. Nittany Lions, as has been reported, both parties would like to make it clear he hasn't already signed anything. From the Happy Valley side, acting athletic director Dave Joyner shot down reports, in the process shooting down all reports, I think:
Acting Athletic Director David Joyner cut off a reporter's question about the reports and said, "No, don't believe anything you read in the newspapers. I was taught that long time ago."
He answered "No," when asked if anyone could be classified as a leading candidate.
For O'Brien's portion, his agent dismissed any notion of a college coaching contract, implying O'Brien's only career goal is to become a NFL head coach:
"Any imminent contract signing or agreement (with Penn State) is just off-base," Linta told me. "The most important thing for him is to win the Super Bowl. But if someone is going to be interested in him in the NFL, it's going to happen this week. He could be going somewhere else, he could be returning to the Patriots. But we'll wait and find out if someone is interested in him and seeks permission to talk with him."
If you're looking for lines to read between, walk away with the conclusion that PSU may be giving him a few days to make sure no NFL jobs open up. That's assuming there's been both contact and mutual interest and so forth.
Could Penn State's darkest of dark horses also be the front-runner to be the Nittany Lions' next coach? Bill O'Brien, the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator, is reportedly all but hired as the next Penn State head coach, according to USA Today's Jonny Saraceno:
A person with knowledge of the Penn State hiring tells USA TODAY that only contract details need to be finalized before O'Brien is the man.
If it comes to fruition, O'Brien's hiring would be both unexpected and daring. O'Brien has never been a head coach, and has not been a college coach since serving as the offensive coordinator for Duke teams that went 1-22 during his time in Durham in 2005 and 2006.
But O'Brien's tenure in New England — he has risen from an offensive assistant position held in 2007 to the offensive coordinator role this year — gives him a certain amount of cachet.
How could a nearly two-month football coaching search suddenly drop a brand new name just as it's winding down? You tell me! Sunday morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter called New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien perhaps "the leading candidate" to take the Penn St. Nittany Lions job, which will hopefully end soon after the team's Jan. 2 bowl game.
See for yourself:
@AdamSchefter Patriots OC Bill O'Brien has emerged as a leading candidate, if not the leading candidate, to be hired as Joe Paterno's successor at Penn St
O'Brien has no immediately apparent ties to PSU and has no head coaching experience.
He does have extensive college experience, however, which has become something of a rarity among reported Nittany Lions candidates. He's coached at somewhat nearby Brown and Maryland, plus Duke and Georgia Tech -- the latter stint included being Chan Gailey's assistant head coach for one year.
At least two candidates for the Penn State head coaching job will get a second interview, according to a report by Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Both names are familiar, though not flashy, and have been mentioned throughout the Penn State coaching search. Two Toms -- Tom Bradley, the interim head coach of the Nittany Lions and Tom Clements, the Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach -- will reportedly get a second shot in front of the search committee in the near future.
As Rossi notes, a second interview signifies the two have passed a stringent background check, all-important in Penn State's post-scandal world.
The vetting of Bradley and Clements is significant. Penn State officials want to be sure the top coaching candidates carry no personal baggage given the negative publicity surrounding the university and its football program because of a child sexual abuse scandal alleged to involve former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, the sources said.
The Penn State search still appears a long way from finding a replacement for Joe Paterno, with acting athletic director Dave Joyner vowing to take his time. But the reported second interviews represent progress after what's been a lengthy period of near-silence.
We're now on Day Almost 50 of the Penn St. Nittany Lions coaching search, with Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak refuting "done deal" reports and taking himself out of the running. Next up: former Cleveland Browns coach Eric Mangini, according to a report from Fox 29 Philadelphia. There's also a Nick Saban rumor at which you're free to chortle.
Mangini was recommended for PSU by Bill Parcells, according to earler mumblings. He's never coached at the college level in any capacity, but he does hold D-III Wesleyan's single-season sacks record.
A Bill Belichick protege, he coached the New York Jets from 2006 to 2008 and the Browns from 2009 to 2010. He put together a 33-47 career record, with an 0-1 playoff mark. Most of his experience comes on the defensive side of the ball, where he worked for the New England Patriots.
Kind of hard to write about these NFL coaches who have no clear college connections. We all do our best.
Now that Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak is off the Penn St. Nittany Lions list after twice denying interest, attention turns to a pretty short range of candidates. The biggest name left is Nebraska Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini, who's changed jobs five times since 2000 and just lost brother and defensive coordinator Carl Pelini to FAU.
Pelini didn't exactly say he's a Nebraska lifer, but he did refute reports that he's looking around:
"Is that to say that I'd never go someplace else?" he said. "You never say never."
"It's kind of a crazy deal that people say I'm out looking around," he said. "I'm not out looking around. I'm doing my job."
Unless Penn State is going to pull a stunning hire out of nowhere, Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements could be about as exciting as this is going to get. One more suggestion to consider, as recommended by Bruce Feldman, is Florida International coach Mario Cristobal.
After it was reported that Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak was the leading candidate for the Penn St. Nittany Lions head coaching position, Munchak flatly denied any interest in the position on Wednesday.
Speaking with Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, Munchak officially turned down the "offer."
"I have a great deal of respect for Penn St and I hope they find a great coach there. But I am happy where I'm at. I love my alma mater, but I have no interest in being the head coach at Penn St. I never want to leave Tennessee."
Munchak is a Penn State alum but he has been a member of the Titans organization as a player or coach since 1982.
Munchak also said he's never talked to anyone at the school about the job officially.
According to the Post-Gazette, who reported Munchak was the lead candidate for the job, Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements appears to be the second choice. Clements is a former Notre Dame quarterback and previously spent time as the Pittsburgh Steelers QB coach.
The 51-year-old Munchak is a former PSU offensive lineman and Pro Football Hall of Famer. He has spent his entire professional career with the Titans/Houston Oilers franchise. He played for the team for 12 seasons and transitioned directly into a coach with the team.
Munchak and the Titans are currently in the playoff hunt and must win this weekend for a chance to make them.
According to the Post-Gazette, Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements appears to be the second choice. Clements is a former Notre Dame quarterback and previously spent time as the Pittsburgh Steelers QB coach.
As noted daily, the Penn St. Nittany Lions are the last FBS program without a head coach for next year. Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak appears to be the top candidate at the moment, but there's really nothing solid to indicate he's even interested in the position.
They've been contacted via Facebook by recruits seeking advice, and underclassmen have asked their older teammates for opinions about staying or leaving ...
"I am a little bit concerned," All-American defensive tackle Devon Still said. "But I know the players that we have now aren't going to let this program go down the drain. I think they've worked too hard for it.
"The biggest decision that this university is going to have to make is who they're going to appoint as the head coach," Still said. "The faster they do that, the faster this team and this program can go back to where it used to be."
What would've been a pressure-packed coaching search anyway has turned into a monster due to its extended length, the lack of other coaching searches, and a coach making major moves on the other side of the conference.
Mike Munchak is the next coach on Penn State's candidates list, according to booster chatter.
It should come as no surprise, but despite Penn State's reported efforts to sway him, Chris Petersen will not be leaving his post at Boise State. This happens every year -- usually multiple times -- and the result is almost always the same, so this latest news should come as no surprise.
The report comes from David Jones, the same person who wrote of the Nittany Lions' efforts to woo Petersen over the last two weeks.
First, Boise State coach Chris Petersen has made it known he is not interested in Penn State's vacant head coaching position. No shocker there. Petersen has not professed any interest in any vacant position for five years, including UCLA and Texas A&M just this month.
Petersen was reportedly Penn State's top coach, though the search continues to be deliberate, likely lasting well beyond the holiday period. It's unknown which coach the search committee will turn to next, with all staying quiet on the Penn State front lately -- outside of the Petersen reports.
While Nebraska coach Bo Pelini and alum Mike Munchak remain among the top names, the Penn St. Nittany Lions brass aren't giving up on Boise St. Broncos coach Chris Petersen as the replacement for Joe Paterno.
David Jones at the Patriot-News has multiple sources who have told him that a Penn State committee member has made two trips to Idaho within the last eight days. It's presumed that they went there to woo Petersen, though it's unknown what the result of those trips was.
Boise is 73-6 in Peterson's five years at the helm of the program, including two Fiesta Bowl appearances. Boise defeated Arizona State 56-24 Thursday night in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl and finished the season 12-1. It's the fifth time in six years Boise has finished with one lose or less.
Petersen is the first and only two-time winner of the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award, which he won in 2006 and 2009. He also won the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award in 2010.
Recent violations at Boise might work against Petersen. In the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the school will look to their next coach to run a tight ship and keep his and his players' noses clean.
For more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries.
Every FBS program now has a head coach for next year, save one: the Penn St. Nittany Lions. Theirs is a special case, of course, as even replacing Joe Paterno minus the still-new Jerry Sandusky scandal would give them the country's greatest challenge.
A few names have popped up, along with a handful of interviews that also includes Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Bo Pelini and Baylor Bears associate head coach Brian Norwood, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
But one probably shouldn't expect PSU to make a hire until January. Acting athletic director Dave Joyner released a statement on the process:
As we head into the holidays, I wanted to share an update on the search for the next head football coach at Penn State. We are continuing to talk with individuals that we're interested in and work through the interview process. As I'm sure all can appreciate, this is a very important hire for Penn State and, as a result, the search committee is taking a very deliberate and measured approach to the process in order to identify the coach that best fits the requirements of the position.
We look forward to introducing our new football coach at the appropriate time. In the interim, I'd like to wish everyone happy holidays as well as remind all Penn Staters to support our team and its 23 seniors as they compete against the 12-1 Houston Cougars in the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas on Jan. 2.
The Penn St. Nittany Lions have interviewed three potential replacements for Joe Paterno that we know of. One was Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements, and the other two have been internal candidates. The first was interim Tom Bradley, and the second, according to the Patriot-News, is defensive line coach Larry Johnson, Sr.
Sounds like it went well, too:
@DanWetzel Penn State interviewed current asst Larry Johnson Sr last Sunday per source. Top recruiter impressed, has serious shot at succeeding Paterno
Penn State appears to be in no great hurry to replace Paterno. They've got a complicated hire to make, as they're facing questions of just how important football should be for the school's future.
Mark Richt has lately been the subject of rumors connecting him to the head coaching position at Penn State. Richt denied those rumors recently, however, saying that he had not heard anything from Nittany Lions officials, nor any other school looking for a new head coach. His response to the rumors: "Is that what's happening now?"
Richt has no ties to Penn State, and is only marginally tied to the midwest as a former Nebraska native. He has spent his entire coaching career in the South, where he started out as a graduate assistant at Florida State, where he would return as the team's offensive coordinator from 1990 to 2000 before assuming the head coaching position at Georgia.
Penn State has kept a tight lip on their coaching search so far. Interim head coach Tom Bradley is considered to be in the mix for the position, as is current Green Bay Packers quarterback coach Tom Clements.
Hey, this might count as the first actual Penn St. Nittany Lions coaching news. Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements, who applied almost two weeks ago, is being interviewed by acting athletic director Dave Joyner for the job Friday, according to USA Today's Jon Saraceno.
Saraceno also reports interim head coach Tom Bradley will get a formal interview. He'd reportedly been interviewed earlier, but scheduling conflicts pushed back his chance to convince Joyner he should remain in State College.
Clements played for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and throughout the CFL before coaching quarterbacks for the Irish and in the NFL. He's never been a head coach, and has spent only two years as an offensive coordinator (with the Buffalo Bills). But he's been Aaron Rodgers' position coach since 2006, and Aaron Rodgers is pretty good, so.
If the Penn St. Nittany Lions and Arizona St. Sun Devils were looking into Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham as a potential coaching replacement, as had been reported, they'll need to keep looking. The Utes had reportedly given Whittingham a contract extension nearly a moon ago, announcing said extension Monday.
"Before Thanksgiving, I offered him an increase in his salary. He did not solicit it and added a year to his contract," [athletic director Chris] Hill said. "We made an amendment to his contract and not some big, long-out thing. So it was a relatively quick situation."
The deal bumps Whittingham's salary to $2 million per year, which would rank him fourth in the Pac-12 according to last year's figures, though that's before big deals for Mike Leach and Rich Rodriguez.
Utah Utes coach Kyle Whittingham, the coaching target du jour, is in line for a contract extension, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. Whittingham had been a reported subject of interest from both the Penn St. Nittany Lions and Arizona St. Sun Devils over the weekend.
His new deal, according to the report, will pay him around $2 million per year, a raise from his $1.7 million mark (and a full half-mill more than Arizona State was paying Dennis Erickson). The deal's been agreed to for some time now, making the latest rush of rumors all the more fruitless.
In response to the contract news, Utes blog Block U has taken it down a notch to WHITCON 4:
Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham is apparently the next item up for bid. After being connected to the Penn St. Nittany Lions job, he's now also reportedly a target of the Arizona St. Sun Devils, according to both Fox Sports Arizona and the Arizona Republic.
Those are the only major jobs left vacant at the moment. The ASU gig would seem to be something of a lateral move, though, now that both are Pac-12 schools. This year, Utah paid Whittingham more money than ASU paid Dennis Erickson.
Whittingham has coached with the Utes since 1994, since 2005 as head coach. He's piloted Utah to a 65-25 record in the Mountain West and Pac-12, two BCS bowl wins, eight straight bowl bids, and a near miss of a division title in the program's first Pac-12 season.
Utes blog Block U was already freaking out a little about the PSU report. Pray they take this news easy.
Penn State has reportedly reached out to Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham about its head coaching job as the Nittany Lions search for a successor to Joe Paterno. Whittingham, who has been a mainstay at Utah, is reportedly mulling over multiple coaching gigs, though it's unclear how much interest he has in leaving Salt Lake City.
The report comes from CBS and indicates a potential darkhorse in this whole affair.
A source close to Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said he was contacted by Penn State on Saturday about its coaching vacancy. Whittingham still has interest in the Arizona State opening.
Whittingham has seemed to be content with the Utes, and figured to play a big part in his team's transition to the Pac-12. Over at our Utah blog, Block Utah, the mood is mildly concerned, with the status currently set at WHITCON 3.
This is what happens when you're forced to replace a coach during a disastrous scandal while replacing an athletic director, it seems. The Penn St. Nittany Lions coaching search continues, with Stanford Cardinal coach David Shaw the latest reported interested party. Scratch that name, says Jon Wilner, who provides an alibi for all of the dates on which Shaw is supposed to be in Happy Valley.
Larry Hicks of the York Dispatch provides a good summary of the coaches who've declined, whether they were asked or not (Boise St. Broncos coach Chris Petersen (of course), Harvard coach Tim Murphy, Tony Dungy, Titans coach Mike Munchak), and those who've expressed interest (Tom Bradley and Jay Paterno, Packers assistants Tom Clements and Darren Perry) ... and Mississippi St. Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen, who says he's not interested but sure does seem interested.
Let's also be sure not to include Shaw in the latter list.
The Penn State Nittany Lions are currently considering internal candidates for their vacant head coach position, but at least one outsider is throwing his name into the potential hiring pool. Tom Clements, a native of Western Pennsylvania and the current quarterbacks coach for the Green Bay Packers, has reportedly applied for the position. The selection committee for the job has already interviewed Jay Paterno and will be interviewing interim head coach Tom Bradley for the position.
Clements has been at his current position since 2006 and has been the Packers' quarterbacks coach for the vast majority of the career of Aaron Rodgers. He began his career as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterbacks coach in 1992 and has coached in the NFL since 1997. Clements had a brief playing career in the NFL and a lengthy career in the CFL, retiring in 1987.
Dan Mullen denied rumors indicating he plans to interview for the vacant Penn State head coaching job on Friday, just hours after initial reports linking him to the job emerged. Mullen was reportedly slated to speak with Penn State about its head coaching job on Monday, though now it's unclear if an interview will take place, if the Mississippi State head coach is to be believed.
Mullen decisively told a reporter "No," when asked with the rumors were true before expanding in an interview with The Clarion-Ledger.
"Amidst all of these reports, neither myself, my agent or the administration at Mississippi State University has been contacted by anybody at Penn State," Mullen told The Clarion-Ledger. "I'm very happy of the direction the Mississippi State program is going in right now."
It's a stock denial almost every head coach uses when addressing these types of rumors, so who knows exactly what it means. 'Tis the season for coaching rumors.
Mullen's name has been coming up for a while now and makes more sense than one might initially think given his SEC job. Mullen, age 39, coached in the Northeast and Midwest before following Urban Meyer from Bowling Green to Utah and then to Florida. He's also a Pennsylvania native whose wife is from Pittsburgh and whose father graduated from Penn State.
Mullen previously denied reports he was interested in the job, even going so far as to claim it was a rumor started by a rival. I suppose that by actually interviewing for the position, he'll be showing them who's boss?
In three seasons, Mullen is 20-17 as the head coach of Mississippi State.
"Yeah I heard about the TV report," Mullen said Tuesday night at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Jackson. "It's the most irresponsible reporting that I've ever heard of."
Mullen even went one step further, claiming that the rumor might have been part of a rivalry agenda.
"I blame it on rival institutions trying to ruin our recruiting which we have dominated in this state over the past three years," Mullen said.
Mullen said he has not even been contacted Penn State "or any other school." Mississippi State athletic director Scott Sticklin also denied the WAPT report.
Mississippi St. Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen, who's been linked by ESPN's Joe Schad to the soon-to-be-open Penn St. Nittany Lions job, didn't say much at his regular Tuesday press conference that will get the hounds off the scent. He may have also requested a spot on the lists of presumed candidates for every other school that needs a new coach. If that was a real thing, it would be an excellent way to troll your friends. Watch as your buddy opens his front door, only to be greeted by a horde of beat writers!
"Great," Mullen said, in a wryly tone this afternoon. "I'm sure I'm on everybody's. Am I right? Every time a job comes open, doesn't my name come up? So, you know our policy. We talk Mississippi State football. That's all we ever talk about."
"I think it's great for the program," he said. "... There are two rumors about you: either rumors you're going somewhere or rumors you're getting fired. So, I'll take the going-somewhere rumor better than the getting-fired rumor."
Mullen is right. He's been attached to many a reported short list, but the only one before this one that caught on BUZZ-WISE was the Florida Gators job. He'd coached at Florida right before taking over in Starkville, but said the same sorts of things about those rumors that he's saying right now.
The most intriguing college football vacancy in the country: the Penn St. Nittany Lions head coaching job. How do you replace Joe Paterno? Almost all of the supposed candidates for the job have been entirely speculative, but ESPN's Joe Schad is reporting Mississippi St. Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen has emerged as the favorite.
Mullen's time in the SEC might make him seem like an outsider, but most of his coaching experience comes from Penn State's general vicinity. Mullen, age 39, coached in the Northeast and Midwest before following Urban Meyer from Bowling Green to Utah and then to Florida. He's also a Pennsylvania native whose wife is from Pittsburgh and whose father graduated from Penn State.
Whoever takes the PSU job will have the greatest mess in college sports history to help clean up, but also an enormous set of resources to put toward on-field success. Pairing Mullen in the same conference as new Ohio St. Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer would also probably make for a storyline or two.
Black Sunday added quite a few programs to the "Now Hiring" list. Let's catch up on both the strength of each program and who they might try to hire.
A look at the recruiting issues Penn State faces in the coming future.
Miami Hurricanes coach Al Golden has been one of the most highly rumored candidates to replace Joe Paterno at Penn State. Considering the ongoing NCAA turmoil surrounding Miami, plus the fact that he's played and coached linebackers at PSU, the speculation makes sense. Even though the Nittany Lions' troubles make Miami's look like a Miami crowd attempting to fill Beaver Stadium, if you will.
That speculation will not die down thanks to this quote:
@ByTimReynolds Here's the exact Al Golden quote from ACC teleconference today. "I believe I'm going to be the head coach at Miami in 2012, that's correct."
The Canes have already given up a 2011 bowl trip in hopes of staving off near-maximum NCAA penalties due to the Nevin Shapiro scandal. This may be the last story about the two biggest scandals of the sports year colliding. Remember when you were aghast at Miami's? Amazing thing to consider, since the Miami adventure seems like harmless fun compared to the Jerry Sandusky travesty.
You'll never hear a coach confirm interest in another job while actively working another, unless he's Jim Mora Jr., so the newsworthy portion here is that Rutgers Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano is being asked about replacing Joe Paterno as the next Penn St. Nittany Lions coach. He has responded according to custom.
@BillisKing Schiano's response to me this a.m. regarding the PSU job - "I'm only interested in one job and that's the one I have right now."
Schiano has been among the public's presumed list of potential candidates. He's built himself a fine program out of nothing at Rutgers, winning four straight bowls at a place that had only one bowl trip before he'd arrived, and he has experience at recruiting the area.
In the wake of a scandal that has gutted its athletic department, Penn State has named David Joyner its interim athletic director. Joyner replaces Tim Curley, who was placed on administrative leave and has been arrested and charged with perjury for his role in an alleged cover-up of Jerry Sandusky's molestation of young boys.
Joyner is a member of Penn State's Board of Trustees, and has been since 2000. He has deep roots in the Penn State community, was an All-American football player and wrestler in 1971, and received both an undergraduate and a medical degree from Penn State.
Joyner specializes in sports medicine, and is listed as the Corporate Medical Director of Occupational Athletics, Inc. in a bio on that company's website. Joyner has also served on multiple committee within the United States Olympic Committee, including on its Sports Medicine Committee and Anti-Doping Committee, and currently serves as the co-chairman of its Sports Medicine Advisory Committee.
For more on Penn State, visit SB Nation's Black Shoe Diaries.
With Mike McQueary no longer an active part of the Penn State football program, the Nittany Lions have given graduate assistant Bill Kavanaugh the former wide receiver coach's duties, including filling in as recruiting coordinator.
Talking about recruiting feels trivial and insulting in light of what Jerry Sandusky allegedly did, but many, many people base their livelihoods around Penn State football. The show must go on, and somebody's got to be in charge of ensuring future teams have players. That's just the way it is.
Kavanaugh has been one of McQueary's two recruiting assistants for the past year. Recruits have described him as positive and energetic. That could come in handy in catastrophic times.
Within hours of the Jerry Sandusky grand jury report's release, concerned fans and outsiders were calling for the Penn St. Nittany Lions to cancel their upcoming game against Nebraska, cancel the rest of the season, refuse an eventual bowl game invite, or disband the football program altogether for a few years.
As we can see, the first two of those haven't happened, and based on interim coach Tom Bradley's Tuesday press conference, the third and fourth sound unlikely as well.
@PeteThamelNYT Bradley also said that any rumors of Penn State not accepting a bowl invite are unture. And there will also be a season next year.
There's a question of which bowl game would take a risk on associating themselves with Penn State at this point. After corporate sponsors and football recruits alike have broken ties with the school over the Sandusky cover-up scandal, it's not hard to foresee several bowl games, which all have corporation names as part of their official titles, choosing to do the same.
Mike McQueary was placed in protective custody at a secluded area away from State College, according to a report on Friday. Using information gathered from team sources, the Patriot News reports McQueary spoke with the wide receivers on Friday, telling them he's in protective custody and is "done."
Below is a portion of the conversation, reported by David Jones.
During a brief and emotional conversation, McQueary told them, “I wanted to let you guys know I'm not your coach anymore. I'm done.”
When players asked, "Coach, where are you? Can we see you?" McQueary responded, “No, I'm actually in protective custody. I'm not in State College.”
McQueary added that he was, "Double-fisting it," meaning he was having two drinks at once.
Considering the emotionally-charged environment in State College, there was almost no chance his safety could be assured in town at this time. McQueary has drawn fire in recent days for failing to call police after seeing Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a child in the Penn State locker room. Since the grand jury report was released, McQueary's job status has been in question, with officials choosing to keep him away from Beaver Stadium for this weekend's game against Nebraska.
Out of nowhere, a report emerged on Friday morning indicating Virginia head coach Mike London was contacted to gauge his interest succeeding Joe Paterno at Penn State shortly before the Board of Trustees voted to oust the Nittany Lions' long-time coach. London was reportedly uninterested in taking the job, but it created an interesting sub-plot in the Penn State story, at least for a moment.
But when asked for a statement, London completely denied ever hearing from Penn State in the first place.
"I don't even want to start to get into all that stuff like that," said London. "No, I haven't heard from them, and I don't expect to. ...
"I can tell you no one (from Penn State) has reached out to me, or talked to me. It's way, way, way, way premature for anyone to credibly think that's the case."
Probably safe to shoot this one down for now. While London may get a look in the future, it's unlikely serious discussions have taken place regarding the next coach as Penn State deals with the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
The Penn St. Nittany Lions contacted Virginia Cavaliers coach Mike London about replacing Joe Paterno, the Washington Post reports. Contact was made by Steve A. Garban, chairman of Penn State’s Board of Trustees, Wednesday before Paterno was fired, according to the report.
You won't be shocked to note London would reportedly prefer to continue rebuilding his home state's program rather than wade into the worst mess in college sports history, but if the report is accurate, then it's good to know what Penn State wants in its next coach, I guess.
Outside of a few stints in the pros and at other schools, London has very rarely left Virginia as a coach. He also worked as a Richmond police detective, which you can imagine would set some minds at ease in State College.
What could possibly add yet another storyline to Saturday's Nebraska-Penn State game? Oh, here's one.
Back on Monday or Tuesday, speculating about what kind of effects the still-blooming Penn State mushroom cloud might have on recruiting felt crass and months premature. But whether we like it or not, it's already having an effect. So let's talk about it.
Four-star 2012 offensive lineman Joey O'Connor has decommitted from Penn State, saying he "just wanted to relieve some of this pressure off of me with everything that is going on." O'Connor, a Colorado native, has picked up offers from like the entire Pac-12. At one point, he looked to be the recruit that was going to save an at-the-time lackluster class.
The Nittany Lions class has slipped to No. 21 overall, according to Rivals.
And shortly after the news broke, Noah Spence, a five-star defensive end and Rivals' top player in Pennsylvania, tweeted the following:
Spence hasn't committed anywhere yet, but Penn State had hoped to obtain his services. He later apologized and said he'd keep an open mind. He has offers from pretty much everywhere.
To some surprise, NCAA president Mark Emmert has commented on the disaster unfolding at Penn State University. Most had assumed Jerry Sandusky's alleged crime spree and the resulting apparent cover-up were outside of the NCAA's realm, but it looks like Emmert at least wants to make sure that's the case.
Regarding the ongoing Penn State criminal investigation, the NCAA is actively monitoring developments and assessing appropriate steps moving forward. The NCAA will defer in the immediate term to law enforcement officials since this situation involved alleged crimes. As the facts are established through the justice system, we will determine whether Association bylaws have been violated and act accordingly. To be clear, civil and criminal law will always take precedence over Association rules.
Penn State's mistakes didn't involve student-athletes, so it's hard to say exactly what the NCAA could rule on here. But as long as Penn State wants to play by the NCAA's rules, the NCAA can sort of do whatever it wants. The NCAA can't make Penn State shutter its football program, but it could find a reason to refuse to sanction it for a time, if it wanted to.
Tom Bradley, longtime Penn St. Nittany Lions defensive coordinator, was introduced as the team's interim coach at a Thursday morning press conference. Bradley is taking over for Joe Paterno, who you may have heard has coached in Happy Valley for 61 years. Paterno was fired Wednesday night due to the ongoing Jerry Sandusky scandal.
"I take this job with very mixed emotions," Bradley said, seated in front of a blue Nittany Lions backdrop and wearing a gold tie. He mentioned team meetings, hearing from former players who will attend on Saturday, planned meetings with recruits, and a captains' gathering in preparation of the Nebraska game.
"The football part, we'll get working on that right away," Bradley said, "For now, you should know our team's thoughts and prayers are with those children and their families."
Bradley said Mike McQueary, the former GA who reported the 2002 Sandusky allegation to Paterno, will remain in his capacity as an assistant, but didn't say where he'd be positioned in the stadium. He also declared Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden will take over as co-coordinators on defense.
When asked about whether Penn State will play any games after the Nebraska game, he boggled a little bit. "What do you mean?" he said, eventually saying the rest of the season is up to the school's administration, but he hopes to finish it out. He said canceling games hasn't been discussed.
"Joe Paterno has meant more to me than anybody but my father," Bradley said, adding that he's comfortably coached on the sideline before with Paterno either in the press box or unavailable.
He also said, "Coach Paterno will go down in history as one of the greatest men -- most of you know him as a football coach -- I've had the privilege to work with him. He's had a dynamic impact on so many, so many -- I'll say I, so many -- people and player's lives. I'm proud to say that I worked with him."
He was asked many times about Paterno's exit, but declined to comment on the investigation, Sandusky, McQueary's role, his own future as a potential non-interim coach, Paterno's firing and so forth, deferring the McQueary question to acting athletic director Mark Sherburne.
When you first heard about the allegations made against former Penn St. Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, you probably wanted somebody, anybody to do something about them. The whole problem is that nobody did anything about Sandusky's alleged crimes for a long time, and now Happy Valley has been torn apart trying to figure out who exactly has to do something.
The federal government is inserting itself, the Board of Trustees did what Joe Paterno wasn't willing to do, and Sandusky, along with AD Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz, is going to court.
But since this involves sports, many people have called for the NCAA to do something, too. As Boston College sports law professor Warren Zola tells the New York Daily News, the NCAA doesn't really have jurisdiction here:
No student-athletes are involved, for now, and nothing benefitted the teams of the institution for a competitive advantage. You and I may have a different interpretation on lack of institutional control, but under the NCAA's, I don't see it. The only thing I could see, if convicted, would be placing a ban on individual coaches.
Penn State, the school, is being investigated by the Department of Education. Everyone who failed to take the allegation against Sandusky to an authority (if you accept that Curley wasn't really Paterno's authority) has been fired or arrested. The current players, future players, and remaining coaches didn't do anything wrong, and thus shouldn't be punished.
What would be the punishment, anyway? A postseason ban and loss of scholarships? For how long? If Boise State lost scholarships for years over some cheeseburgers, what's the multiplier the NCAA should use to figure out what covering up 40 counts of child sex abuse is worth?
We could say the NCAA should shut down Penn State football, but that's not really how the NCAA works. The NCAA can dictate how Penn State makes money off of football and which teams it plays, but it has no control over what Penn State chooses to do with Beaver Stadium.
Longtime defensive coordinator Tom Bradley has a tough task ahead of him as he takes over as head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions on an interim basis, effectively immediately. Bradley was thrust into the role on Wednesday night after the Penn State Board of Trustees voted to fire Joe Paterno in the wake of child sex abuse allegations brought against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
On Thursday, Bradley will take the first step as head coach of the Nittany Lions, meeting with the media before continuing with preparations for this weekend's game.
New Penn State head coach Tom Bradley will meet media tomorrow morning at 11.
It's unclear what Bradley will be able to discuss, though it seems likely the ongoing investigation will continue to be off-limits. If Wednesday night's Board of Trustees press conference is any indication, Bradley's first meeting with the media as head coach has the potential to quickly become a circus.
The game of football doesn't need us to cover for the mistakes of its heroes. It only needs us to love it for what it is. Football will outlast even Joe Paterno.
As the allegations levied against former Penn State assistant Jerry Sandusky continued to trickle out, calls for the university's Board of Trustees to take action reached a feverish pitch. On Wednesday night, the action came, following a closed door meeting in which the board discussed what to do with head coach Joe Paterno and Penn State President Graham Spanier. Both were relieved of their duties effective immediately, with Spanier resigning and Paterno being fired by the board.
Ahead of the meeting, rumors of Spanier's resignation began to swirl. We later found out he submitted a letter of resignation before the board convened and accepted it. Paterno, on the other hand, made the decision to retire, but only after the 2011 season. The Board of Trustees, meanwhile, still had the option to relieve him of his duties immediately.
In a statement announcing his retirement, Paterno lamented he wished he'd done more.
That's why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They have far more important matters to address. I want to make this as easy for them as I possibly can. This is a tragedy. It is one of the great sorrows of my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more.
At 10 p.m. Eastern, the Board of Trustees called a press conference to announce Spanier had resigned and Paterno had been fired. Quickly, the press conference turned into a circus. The board was peppered with heated questions and the decision to fire Paterno immediately was met with outrage. Shortly thereafter, students began converging on downtown State College to protest the decision.
Paterno was reportedly told he was fired shortly before the press conference, by way of a courier delivering an envelope that contained a phone number and instructions to call it. He released the following statement shortly thereafter.
"Right now I'm not the coach. And after 61 years I have to get used to that."
Later, as tensions began to boil over in State College, Paterno expanded on his statement. With his wife at his side, Paterno asked that everyone remain calm and not destroy property while expressing disappointment in the boards decision and thanking his supporters.
The night wore on and the protest grew more destructive before police were able to take control of the situation and clear the streets. Various acts of vandalism were documented throughout the night. By 2 a.m., the streets were mostly empty, with only the damage left behind.
The Penn State scandal puts all other college football scandals to shame, and it's a convenient opportunity to highlight everything that's wrong with the morality of college sports. But that's too easy.
Penn State's football players were called to a meeting with Joe Paterno at 11 a.m. to discuss his retirement. That meeting, understandably, got a bit emotional. The Daily Collegian's Joe McIntyre and SB Nation's Black Shoe Diaries' Ben Jones both tweeted players' reactions.
Joe told players he's retiring. Will be here until end of season. Joe was emotional, crying. #PennState
Nate Stupar said players emotional, too. Never saw Joe cry before.
It was a sad mood. Joe was very emotional. -Derek Moye
Team captain Quinn Barham walked away from Lasch with a hood over his head. Did not talk.
Drew Astorino says "Obviously a tough time for everyone at PSU. Team is handling it well."
Astorino on the room when Joe told the team: "It was tough to hear. Everybody was obviously very emotional, very upset."
Astorino says he doesn't know what to expect from the crowd this weekend.
Referring to Sandusky being around the football building, Astorino: "Not going to comment on that."
Hopefully, those responsible for Penn State's inability to report Jerry Sandusky's alleged sexual abuses will be gone from the program. And when that happens, its fans will have full license to return to the team they love.
Former Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer was reported to be in casual touch with the Penn St. Nittany Lions about a potential upcoming coaching vacancy. The ESPN analyst denied the report to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
"I'm not going to say anything about it," Meyer told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette upon arriving at Beaver Stadium to work the ABC/ESPN telecast of the Penn State-Iowa game. "There's no truth to the rumor."
Meyer has been linked via rumor and speculation with Penn State and with the Ohio St. Buckeyes job since, well, the moment he left Florida both times he left Florida. Though he's never really made a public comment that would lead one to conclude he's interested, it's hard to imagine he won't itch to coach another program at some point, especially one with which he already has personal connections.
Why yes, it is once again time to start talking about Urban Meyer's next coaching job.
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