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.
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.