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Bill O’Brien isn’t coming back to the NFL

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Our friends at College Football Talk have been hitting every angle on the Penn State scandal, but we felt the need to touch on head coach Bill O’Brien’s statement in the wake of Monday’s announcement of severe NCAA penalties against the football program.

O’Brien passed on a chance to interview for the Jaguars head coaching job in January so that he could take the position at Penn State. The former Patriots offensive coordinator likely wouldn’t have a hard time getting back into the NFL coaching mix if he decided that he wasn’t up for the task of leading the Nittany Lions through four years of limited scholarships and no bowl games. O’Brien made it clear in his statement that he won’t be leaving State College, though.

“Today we receive a very harsh penalty from the NCAA and as head coach of the Nittany Lions football program, I will do everything in my power to not only comply, but help guide the university forward to become a national leader in ethics, compliance and operational excellence,” O’Brien said in the statement. “I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead. But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes. I was then and I remain convinced that our student athletes are the best in the country. I could not be more proud to lead this team and these courageous and humble young men into the upcoming 2012 season. Together we are committed to building a better athletic program and university.”

The state of the Penn State football program ranks somewhere behind the lives of far too many young victims of Jerry Sandusky and negligent university officials on the list of things that should concern people, but if there is to be any future for football at the school they need a strong leader to steer them through this time. O’Brien’s contract reportedly makes it difficult for him to jump ship but he should nonetheless be commended for honoring his commitment in the face of the sanctions and wanting to be a leader at a school that has desperately needed one for almost two decades.

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9 Responses to “Bill O’Brien isn’t coming back to the NFL”
  1. tombrookshire says: Jul 23, 2012 12:14 PM

    Nothing is keeping the kids from transferring out. I know I would and would advise my kid to do so as well. Temple can beat them now.

  2. blacknole08 says: Jul 23, 2012 12:20 PM

    I have a renewed respect for O’Brien. Good luck to him and hopefully he keeps his word. Penn State needs people around them to do the right thing right now and there isn’t anyone better suited to do this job right now than O’Brien.

  3. joeeo says: Jul 23, 2012 12:22 PM

    SO the question is…what was Bill O’Brien and his representation told by PSU about PSU’s exposure to being sanctioned. Would Bill O’Brien taken the job if he knew that this ruling was in the cards?

  4. realitypolice says: Jul 23, 2012 12:28 PM

    Why should he leave? What coach on any level of college or pro football has less pressure to win than him?

    Heck, the coach of Harvard is probably under more pressure than him.

    Not going to be much fun for awhile though. The four year bowl ban means that every single player on the team is eligible to transfer without sitting out a year.

    Pretty good recruiting pitch: You want to play right away? Like, right now? Come to PSU.

  5. nflofficeadmin says: Jul 23, 2012 12:40 PM

    While certainly important being a “national leader in ethics, compliance and operational excellence”, doesn’t exactly get the heart pumping for most football fans.

  6. cobrala2 says: Jul 23, 2012 12:41 PM

    Bill O’Brien hasn’t done anything yet.

    But when you compare him to Bobby Petrino, Penn State University wouldn’t be wrong to make a new statue of Bill O’Brien and a new mural with a halo over his head just for this statement alone.

    But seriously, apparently someone CAN cross from CollegePros without being a scumbag. Good for him.

  7. uwsptke says: Jul 23, 2012 1:56 PM

    I’m pretty sure that O’Brien doesn’t have an “out” clause in his contract, so he couldn’t leave even if he wanted to.

  8. jgedgar70 says: Jul 23, 2012 2:05 PM

    It took SMU 21 years to go from first year after death penalty to a bowl game, and they still aren’t anywhere near a national title contender. It will probably be the year 2050 before Penn State is a national title contender again. It’s going to be a rough few years. Good for O’Brien for deciding to stick it out.

  9. j0esixpack says: Jul 23, 2012 3:55 PM

    I can’t understand how O’Brien’s agent was asleep at the switch by not giving his client an “out” clause if and when the NCAA effectively neutered Penn State.

    Sure he can pay $4 million and go back to the NFL or sit out this year and be a college coach next year – but O’Brien doesn’t have pockets that deep.

    Maybe O’Brien is enough of a standup guy to stay with a team that will shackle his ability to field a team for several years – but locking him into a contract doesn’t exactly give credibility to Penn State at a time they need it.

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