Penn State coach Bill O’Brien has tried coming up with imaginative ways in the past to give his team an extra game/event while the program serves its NCAA-mandated postseason ban.
Now, he could be taking a more direct route. Reportedly.
The Centre Daily Times reports that O’Brien gave a presentation behind closed doors to Penn State’s board of trustees Friday that “indicates the university is considering asking the NCAA to reduce some of its sanctions.”
O’Brien addressed the trustees behind closed doors in an executive session for more than an hour Friday morning at the Penn State Fayette branch campus. The presentation slides were visible from a hallway through several full-length glass-paned doors into the room where the session was held.
It’s not clear what the proposal entails or when the request would be made to the NCAA.
One of the presentation slides had the heading “potential proposal to modify sanctions” and one had a heading concerning the impact of the scholarship reductions that are part of the sanctions.
Another slide read “Individual lawsuits do not help us!” with the words “do not” underlined and in capital letters.
The Times asked pretty much anybody it could from PSU, including O’Brien, about the presentation and was met with a wide variety of “no comment” responses. So even if PSU is planning to request a reduction or negotiation for the sanctions, which also include scholarship reductions and a fine, the what/how/when/etc aren’t known. It’s possible the university could hang its arguing hat on the implemented recommendations from the Freeh report, which was used by the NCAA to create the consent decree signed last year.
But, if Penn State were to pitch the idea, it would likely do so independently of the ongoing lawsuit headed up by the Paterno family, which asks for the sanctions to be reversed. Another suit asking for the NCAA to undo the sanctions, filed earlier this year by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, was thrown out last month.