Apparently what we have here is a case of premature speculation.
Multiple reports surfaced Sunday connecting New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien to the Penn State vacancy, with one going so far as to state that “only contract details need to be finalized” before O’Brien was named as Joe Paterno’s permanent successor. The head of PSU’s search committee, athletic director David Joyner, refuted the reports earlier today.
This evening, O’Brien’s agent has done the same, saying that his client’s dream is to be an NFL head coach.
“Any imminent contract signing or agreement (with Penn State) is just off-base,” Joe Linta told Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald. “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.”
Not only is a contract not imminent, but Rapoport writes that “there has been no contact and no negotiations” between the two sides.
While this certainly doesn’t mean O’Brien won’t be the Nittany Lions’ next head coach, the brakes have been sufficiently tapped on the O’Brien-to-Penn State talk.