O’Brien addresses Penn State sanctions, transfer situation

by Dane Mizutani

CHICAGO — Penn State head football coach Bill O’Brien was candid in his approach Thursday at Big Ten Media Days regarding the unprecedented sanctions doled out against the university.

The NCAA announced Monday that Penn State will be fined $60 million and the football program will be banned from the postseason while suffering significant scholarship losses for the next four years. It will also vacate all wins from 1998-2011.

O’Brien said he called a meeting immediately after the NCAA’s decision was announced and reassured his team of his loyalty to the Penn State football program.

“I told them this staff isn’t going anywhere and we’re committed to the 2012 football team,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien made it a point that he sees this situation as less of an obstacle and more of an opportunity to grow.

“I talked to them about each one of them have stories of adversity in their lives … and the measure of a man is how you overcome adversity,” O’Brien said.

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany was accepting of the sanctions handed out by the NCAA.

“I think the NCAA did have moral authority to act … as did the Big Ten,” Delany said.

The Big Ten announced just hours after the NCAA’s sanctions that it will not allow Penn State to collect football bowl revenue sharing while it is banned from the postseason.

In the wake of the sanctions, Penn State players are free to transfer to any school in the nation without having to sit out a year, unlike typical transfers.

Penn State running back Silas Redd has surfaced in many reports as a key player who may utilize his ability to transfer. It’s been reported that a decision could come as early as Monday.

O’Brien would not address the Redd situation when asked by a member of the media.

O’Brien said as of now no player has spoken with him directly regarding a decision to transfer.