Bill O’Brien is not at Patriots practice today.
And if you believe NFL insiders like Adam Schefter, Jason LaConfora and Mike Lombardi, he’s about to become Penn State’s next head coach.
Assuming this is true (and the buzz we’re hearing today seems to support O’Brien or another low-level hire), many questions need to be asked.
1. How can Dave Joyner, after completely blowing off coaches like Al Golden, Greg Schiano and Dan Mullen, end up with a plan E or F coach that is clearly inferior to other coaches who were seriously interested in the job? We’re not saying that any of those three are the next coming of Joe Paterno, but compared to the likes of Bill O’Brien, these guys are pure studs.
2. If Dave Joyner is going to hire someone like Bill O’Brien, what does that say about Tom Bradley? Is there something we don’t know going on with Tom Bradley, because on the surface, he is light years more qualified for this job than those being rumored. Is this treatment of Tom Bradley how Dave Joyner and Penn State values three decades of loyalty and service, let alone putting top notch defenses on the field year after year? What about Larry Johnson for that matter; or Ron Vanderlinden? All three are better candidates than the names we’ve been hearing.
3. Hypothetically, if Bill O’Brien or a current NFL assistant is the pick, does the University have any earthly idea at how much money they are going to lose overnight? The STEP program already created an attendance problem last season. A bad hire (and make no mistake about it, Bill O’Brien or any of the NFL assistants rumored are horrible hires) will probably double the amount of empty seats in Beaver Stadium and non-renewals for the Nittany Lion Club. It’s hard to fathom that people in positions of authority at Penn State don’t understand this concept.
4. Is Penn State, led by President Rod Erickson, truly trying to deemphasize athletics in the wake of the Sandusky scandal? Hiring a low-level, no-name coach can only lead a reasonable person to this conclusion. Make no mistake about it, there was definite interest in this job, and there were several solid to very good candidates that were seemingly eliminated immediately by Dave Joyner for ridiculous reasons (mostly ego driven). Joyner is either in over his head and completely incompetent, or he has been given parameters by Erickson and the Board of Trustees to work with. For the record, we believe strongly that he is in fact in over his head.
So where are we at the moment?
Penn State sources told us yesterday that as of Monday at the bowl game, Joyner still believed he had his man in the fold and was 95% of the way home. The comment “dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s” was actually used to describe where the process stood. The issue at hand now is something has seemingly happened in the last 24 hours to derail negotiations and put a deal in peril. When asked about where the search stood today, we were told “scramble mode.”
Quite frankly, this turn of events is completely unacceptable for a fanbase as great as Penn States’. Furthermore, the way the search has been handled and the arrogance displayed by those in charge is unacceptable. Then again, considering these are the same people that publicly stabbed Joe Paterno in the back, maybe it should be viewed as par for the course.
For those of you who may have missed it, an interesting thing happened at Arizona State a few weeks back. The school was ready to name SMU coach June Jones their head football coach, but after a wave of booster and alumni pressure and threats of pulling donations, they backed off and moved on.
The Penn State nation is at that point right now, and our voices need to be heard. Voice your opinions by either calling or writing to those in charge and let them know what is going on and what has gone on for the last 50+ days is completely unacceptable. If Dave Joyner cannot make a hire worthy of this job he should immediately be replaced by someone who can. Let the leaders of the Nittany Lion Club know we all pay good money to support PSU athletics and all we expect is competence from our leaders in the athletic department.
The future of Penn State football and sports could be on the line here……..don’t let them kill our programs without being heard from.
Contact numbers and email addresses:
President Rod Erickson – firstname.lastname@example.org – 814-865-9462
Athletic Director Dave Joyner – email@example.com – 814-865-1086
Nittany Lion Club Director of Giving John Nitardy – firstname.lastname@example.org – 814-863-7664
Nittany Lion Club Director of Development Ken Cutler – email@example.com – 814-863-6761