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Penn State free agency free-for-all update

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As Ben noted Tuesday evening, the NCAA “clarified” its policies pertaining to the transfer of current Penn State football players out of that program to another, and it is still  essentially what it was the day the sanctions were announced: a roster shopping spree for all 123 other FBS football programs.

USC can still have the Nittany Lions’ star running back, despite the “limitations” thanks to its own sanctions.  Derek Dooley and his Tennessee  coaching staff will still be free to have communication with current Nittany Lions.

And, obviously, those two programs are far from the only ones viewing PSU’s roster as a blue-light special in college football’s version of Christmas in summer camp.

Here’s a very cursory look at what programs have publicly stated as far as their interest in current Nittany Lions players, while being fully armed with the realization that the interest in the Penn State roster goes much deeper than is being acknowledged…

— “If somebody was interested in coming to the University of Alabama, we would certainly entertain it.”

That’s Tide head coach Nick Saban, speaking on whether he would be open to overtures from current Penn State players.

The recruiting machine that is Saban, though, had some sage advice for the teenagers/young adults who may be looking to make a life-altering decision.

“The first thing I would say to a player is, this is not just about football. You’re there to get an education. I think you should think about your future in terms of your ability to be successful personally, academically and athletically.”

Of course, Saban and/or his staff has already been in contact with at least three PSU players, so the mileage on that quote may very when it comes to a roster’s need.

— “Auburn coaches spent part of the day Monday looking at film of current Penn State players and commitments and will probably continue that Tuesday.”

That quote comes from a national recruiting analyst by way of

The good news for Penn State as it relates to AU’s interest in its players?

“While no final decisions have been reached, I’m not expecting Auburn to actively pursue any current Penn State players or commits at the moment. They may continue to evaluate this fall and look at any potential January transfers.”

Art Briles and his Baylor coaching staff are “heavily connected to Penn State.”  After taking on three FBS transfers in less than a year, Briles is not shy in acknowledging he’s ready to add a fourth or a fifth or whatever number it takes.

“If people reach out to us, that says they’re willing to move on. If they do that, then we’re willing to talk,” said Briles. “If a guy can play, we’re going to look at him without question.”

Briles confirmed that one unnamed Penn State player has already approached the program regarding a transfer.

— “When the dust settles, I think there will be several players that entertain the thought of going somewhere else. So I think that any program that didn’t do homework prior to this decision coming out … was behind on that one.”

That’s Kansas head coach Charlie Weis, who’s shown in his first year with the Jayhawks that he’s far from averse to looking to transfers for immediate help.

— From

UCLA coach Jim Mora said Tuesday that he “has his eye on a few” Penn State players and that a few have reached out to the Bruins to inquire about a possible transfer.

The first-year Bruins coach added that “I’ve talked to all the coaches about guys they might be familiar with and there are some positions we might look at a little more closely than others.”

— First-year Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez confirmed that his coaching staff has talked to “a couple guys, because we know ’em.”

He also stated that any movement, one way or the other, will be swift.

“I don’t know if any of them will come, or if it’ll work out with them. The turnaround’s going to be pretty quick. The timing’s not good for any of them.”

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16 Responses to “Penn State free agency free-for-all update”
  1. stoutfiles says: Jul 25, 2012 8:10 AM

    I feel bad for the players that stay there. While the first year might be alright, the “Us against the World” mentality and the media storm that will follow them, by Year 2 no one will be paying attention to Penn State anymore. They’ll just be a bad team struggling to get to .500.

    If you think 109,000 fans will continue to come to watch a bad PSU team get blown out on Sunday’s, think again. They’ll sellout the first season for sure, but from then on it’s going to be shaky attendance.

  2. woebegong says: Jul 25, 2012 8:13 AM

    Unless the player is very good and can offer immediate help to the team, a lot of them will be very aware of how it could affect their scholarship level for next year.
    About the only school that doesn’t routinely look at the following year may be Auburn as evidenced by the Cam Newton move, but I doubt there are any players of that caliber in the PSU players that will make themselves available.
    If you have scholarships open and can afford to put them on one this year, without having to use the limit waiver the NCAA will allow, then it makes sense. Otherwise, if you end up with a junior, he might help you for a year before trying for the Sunday League, but it could end up hurting you for a couple of years after that. I think that will be a big consideration for a lot of coaches. If you can get a recruit for 2013 that was formally committed to PSU, then you probably get a bargain that way.

  3. houndofthebaskervols says: Jul 25, 2012 8:38 AM

    I like what Saban is saying, but then again he can afford to make statements like that after 5 consecutive Top 5 classes, and a fully stocked roster on campus. Same at Georgia, Auburn, Florida, South Carolina, LSU, Arkansas etc. (well maybe not Arkansas LOL)

    I had hoped a) the SEC would encourage member schools to stay out of this feeding frenzy, and b) that specifically Tennessee would stay clear of this thing but realistically in Dooley’s defense, he walked into a situation that basically amounted to a school coming off a multi year probation with the loss of 45 scholly players in the Fulmer-Kiffin-Dooley transitions. And they are still short 5 guys.

    Anyway, I dont like any of this, but I do agree that the young guys should be allowed to transfer if its in their best interest. Looks like the upperclassmen are showing some solidarity and I admire that. Best of luck to these kids and to the Penn State community. Just a very sad situation all around.

  4. rsmeans says: Jul 25, 2012 8:41 AM

    The rules for transfer are very complex and some if not most coaches show little evidence that they understand them (e.g. Kiffin at USC who wanted the RB for next year which is not permitted on two counts). Other coaches (e.g. Saban show a complete understanding of the rules. The only source that I have found that is comprehensive and correct on the complexity of the rules is Even here you need to read it several times to realize all the complexities involved.

  5. huskerzfan says: Jul 25, 2012 8:56 AM


    The NCAA is waiving its normal transfer rules for ALL Penn State players currently on the roster including the release of ALL incoming players from their NLOI.

    The players are immediately available to play this year, and have until the end of this upcoming school year to transfer to another school.

    Any player that is picked up this year will count against their scholarship numbers for next year. (A normal class size of 25 would then become 24, and their 85 total becomes 84).

    As for how many players that end up actually transferring? Hard to tell. That is a long time for the players to think about moving on, and they will be able to play out this entire football season (and then some), and then move on to another school.

    It will be interesting to see how Penn State’s football team is accepted in road games this year within the Big 10. Will they be booed, heckled, etc., more than usual with pedophile type slanders or will the normal fan treatment come about?

  6. houndofthebaskervols says: Jul 25, 2012 8:56 AM

    @ woebegong re: Auburn

    LOL Nobody anticipated the kind of year Newton had in 2010, much less Chizik and certainly nobody viewed him as a one and done before the season kicked off.

    Chizik doesnt recruit JUCO players. They took 4 in the 2010 class out of severe need but that was the last time any JUCOs have signed with Auburn.

    @ rsmeans

    Hoo boy, you sure are complicating matters. USC has a roster limit under the terms of its probation, but if they have a spot open this season, they can give it to a Penn State guy. Schools that are not subject to such limits can go over the 85 number this year if but they have to adjust in 2013. This aint rocket science.

  7. mountaineer50415 says: Jul 25, 2012 9:27 AM

    No one seems to be thinking about the true freshmen. If there are some really good players that have not played for Penn St. yet and are willing to set out a year, they need to transfer now. By next year Penn St. will not have a good enough team for them to be show cased. However, if you have played for Penn St. for two or three years, you may as well stay. If you are good enough you still could get into the NFL before everything goes to h—in a handbag. Good wishes for all involved.
    Good wishes to the rest of the Big. It would not be right for this to overflow against any of you.

  8. houndofthebaskervols says: Jul 25, 2012 9:50 AM

    @ moutaineer

    (pulls string in neck)

    Nobody has to “sit out”… doesn’t matter if they are incoming Freshmen, or 5th year Seniors, they can all leave for Syracuse, Rutgers, or West Virginia and suit up tomorrow. And, they can pull the trigger anytime between now and when Fall drills start in 2013.

  9. mungman69 says: Jul 25, 2012 9:56 AM

    Yes, they can just leave.

  10. mountaineer50415 says: Jul 25, 2012 11:47 AM

    It is late in the game. If another school does not have an openng, these kids can not just push their way in. I did not say they have to sit out. But if you do not want to stay at Penn St. and there is no opening at this time, maybe someone would be willing to take a freshman and give up a choice next year. Can not imagine taking a senior that is not needed. If the vols need people go for it. I’m sure anyone who needs will try.

  11. cubano76 says: Jul 25, 2012 1:06 PM

    WHAT? No one wants to go play for Randy Edsall and wear those awesome uniforms?


  12. jimbo75025 says: Jul 25, 2012 1:54 PM

    stoutfiles says:Jul 25, 2012 8:10 AM

    If you think 109,000 fans will continue to come to watch a bad PSU team get blown out on Sunday’s, think again.
    Hmm college football is on Saturday dude…….

  13. houndofthebaskervols says: Jul 25, 2012 4:01 PM

    @ jimbo75025 says: Jul 25, 2012 1:54 PM

    stoutfiles says:Jul 25, 2012 8:10 AM

    If you think 109,000 fans will continue to come to watch a bad PSU team get blown out on Sunday’s, think again.
    Hmm college football is on Saturday dude…….

    Bwaaahahahahahahaaha (gag whock choke) hahahahahahahahahaa

    Thumbs up thingy!

  14. thetooloftools says: Jul 25, 2012 4:04 PM

    If I was a Penn State player, I would be on the first bus out of Happy Valley. That hot mess is not what you signed up for. Coach can tell you all day long about “building your own legacy” and The New Way” and all that other crap. But at the end of the day, it’s a business. They only want you there to put fans in the stands and if you think otherwise, your a fool. You don’t owe Penn State anything. Nobody told you about the ‘dark secret” they were hiding to recuite you now did they. If you leave, no one would blame you. If you don’t leave and then you stick it out and it sucks, then you have to sit out a year. It is never going to be the same and it’s still going to get worse as more trials begin. Their not “Moving On” for many years. I would cut the cord. Thanks and bye.

  15. jh4prez says: Jul 25, 2012 4:04 PM

    Damn scavengers!hope the boys stay and lay waste to their opponents.

  16. rajuncajun28 says: Jul 25, 2012 7:23 PM

    Little Nicky Satan could care less if his players are educated…what a crock of crap from this liar…..guess the rednecks from Bammy are making him dumber than he already is….btw,, why would anyone live in nowhere, al aka Tuskeyloser?

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