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Bill O’Brien still not happy with Penn State bowl ban

Bill O'Brien AP

Former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien is no longer under the governance of the NCAA, so he is as free as he has ever been to speak his mind about the situation Penn State’s football program is in. Speaking with NFL media at the NFL meetings in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday, O’Brien said it is ridiculous Penn State is currently serving a postseason ban.

“The fact that there is a bowl ban at Penn State, is ridiculous,” O’Brien said, according to the quote sheet provided by the Houston Texans. The quote came mixed in to a question about his decision to not leave Penn State without informing his players of the decision. O’Brien explained the team was on Christmas break because of the postseason ban, but he attempted to make contact with every player before leaving to be named the head coach of the Texans.

“I didn’t ever want to be somebody that just rode off in the middle night and never said a word,” O’Brien said. “I mean, I love those kids and had a great relationship with all those guys. I don’t know if I reached every one of them but I at least left a message for all of them.”

Penn State was issued a four-year postseason ban in the summer of 2012, just as O’Brien was getting prepped for his first season on the job in State College. The sentence was part of larger sanction parameters including a $60 million fine, significant reduction in football scholarships and the vacating of all wins dating back to the 1999 season. The landmark sanctions were dropped following the release of the Freeh Report, an investigative look at how the Jerry Sandusky crimes were handled by the university leadership in place, including former university president Graham Spanier and former head coach Joe Paterno. Penn State will enter the 2014 season, the first for new head coach James Franklin, with two full seasons remaining on the postseason ban.

The NCAA has already taken measures to restore football scholarships. Penn State jumped up to 20 available scholarships for the Class of 2014 and will return to the 25-scholarship limit in the Class of 2015. Penn State will be able to get back to a full-scholarship count by 2017. The decision to return scholarships was inspired by the latest annual report by George Mitchell to the NCAA, which complimented Penn State in acting on improvements within the structure of the university. If the NCAA is to make any other adjustments to the sanction terms in the event of another positive report from Mitchell later this year, a reduction in the postseason ban would appear to be the most likely possibility at this point.

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28 Responses to “Bill O’Brien still not happy with Penn State bowl ban”
  1. mauldawg says: Mar 26, 2014 10:56 AM

    Not happy,then tell PSU not to cover child rape.

  2. cubano76 says: Mar 26, 2014 12:21 PM

    “I didn’t ever want to be somebody that just rode off in the middle night and never said a word,” O’Brien said. “I mean, I love those kids and had a great relationship with all those guys. I don’t know if I reached every one of them but I at least left a message for all of them.”

    You listening to this Randy Edsall?

  3. kastout11 says: Mar 26, 2014 12:49 PM

    Excellent coach and I am sorry to see him go. I’m pretty excited about Franklin though, and hopefully he is going to stay at PSU. I wish O’Brien the best of luck and I will cheer for him every game until they play the Eagles.

  4. tommy57 says: Mar 26, 2014 2:10 PM

    Coach O’Brien navigated the PSU program through a very dark tunnel and out the other side. Stay or not, he deserves our gratitude for his accomplishment.

  5. normtide says: Mar 26, 2014 2:11 PM

    What’s his stance on child rape? I mean I understand what he is trying to say, but it comes off the wrong way.

  6. 6superbowls says: Mar 26, 2014 2:25 PM

    “I didn’t ever want to be somebody that just rode off in the middle night and never said a word,”.

    Bill. That’s now referred to as “Grahaming the kids”.

  7. chalkruz1989 says: Mar 26, 2014 2:29 PM

    Bill O’ Brien’s comments are not in any shape or form condoning what went on at Penn State. He made it crystal clear that he doesn’t agree with the ban because those affected had little to no involvement in the heinous acts.

  8. barkleyblows says: Mar 26, 2014 3:28 PM

    Ped State shouldn’t have any sports teams. Hell, there shouldn’t even be a Ped State!

  9. fissilemissile says: Mar 26, 2014 3:32 PM

    Chalkruz1989… The problem with your statement is that the Board of Regents, the school, and the coaches all benefitted during Sandusky’s brutal rape of children. The kids that play football there were allowed to leave the program and go play somewhere else. But the Bowl ban was justified because it penalizes the school monetarily for not acting on this heinous crime. Sure it affects the kids in the program, but it’s a punishement on the program and not on the kids. If the kids leave, there is no punishment for them but if they stay, then they too have to live with the consequences. I can tell the majority of people visiting this page are PSU fans loyal through and through and I’m sure I won’t get many up votes, but tough nuts for those that protect and defend a program that covered up one of the most disgusting acts in all of college football. FOR SHAME!!!

  10. chalkruz1989 says: Mar 26, 2014 3:50 PM

    I grew up born and raised with PSU football and had a cousin that was a starter on the Orange Bowl squad and by no means did I defend the actions that happened.

    The punishment wasn’t anything compared to what the true victims had and still have to endure.

  11. musketmaniac says: Mar 26, 2014 4:03 PM

    Cover up was that really the 2cd worse thing that happened here. A cover up implies that most people knew. I don’t believe that. All the players, and coaches who came and went. Are we to believe all these people put football loyalty over children, doubtful. Are we saying that psu kept every ex player and ex coach happy. Players transfer, coaches get fired. Are we saying they bought everybody off.maybe. Thirty years nobody said a word. Obviously Cover up happened here, but what about INTERFERENCE. Somebody had to run it. To keep everybody away from it. Would have been a full time job for several people. Obviously Sandusky used the facilities to facilitate his urges, How much effort had to go into keeping all this from everybody. And why would the school do this. Did he have something on Paterno or higher ups. or was he just their pimps.

  12. fissilemissile says: Mar 26, 2014 4:23 PM

    Chalk I didn’t say you defended the actions. I’m saying that when PSU fans whine and complain about the bowl ban, they lose focus on the issue which was a systemic problem with policing itself. The only way to rectify that matter is to dismantle the system in place, remove the offenders, and take punitive measures against the program to send a message to the board of regents that this lack of oversight on their campus and facilities is not excusable, ever. It was clear that with the demigod status given to Joe Pa, there was no accountability and therefore stuff like this was possible. One could easily surmise then that if this could happen, under Joe Pa’s regime, what else was going on? What really gets me is the blind faithful that cannot remove themselves from their worshipping posture to look at the situation from an outside perspective. If this was at Ohio State, PSU fans wouldn’t have a problem with any of the rulings that came down. Personally I was a victim of rape as a child and I wished that PSU would’ve lost their rights to play football for good.

  13. Scott Hevel says: Mar 26, 2014 6:11 PM

    It’s amazing that so few people still don’t realize what happened. When will people connect the dots that the sanctions were all created by the Board of Trustees of Penn State. It wasn’t the NCAA. It wasn’t the BIG or the Freeh. It was the Board of Trustees who asked the NCAA to cover for them and sanction the school to kill the football team.

    When will people pick up that the president of the University (Erickson) was the one who signed off on Sandusky getting full access to the University in 99 and the two heads of the Board of Trustees happen to be involved with the second mile and the third head of the trustees (Governor Tom Corbett) was the AD in charge of going after Sandusky – and never charged him in the multiple years of being in charge?

    When will people realize there was no cover up but a complete hit job to cover their own butts? Seriously. When will someone even discuss this nationally?

  14. julian1030 says: Mar 26, 2014 6:29 PM

    You are looking at this situation in hindsight. It’s easy to judge what should have happened. You forget that the County DA decided not to prosecute Sandusky in 1998 and the Freeh report based many of their findings on flawed logic and assumptons. We can agree that what occurred was horrible but we should also agree that we don’t know everything that happened. I can’t and won ‘t assume what Joe knew. I also believe that President Erickson is a big pussy. He agreed to all of these sanctions on his own. Finally, your comment about permanently eliminating football at PSU is sooooo self serving . Remember us, we’re one of the schools that actually graduate atheletes.

  15. musketmaniac says: Mar 26, 2014 9:06 PM

    Julian, eventually you will see the world for what it is. Its honorable that you stand behind your god. However if your right and he did not know. Than he is the lethargic moron, a man so ignorant that this goes on under his nose. Most head football coaches not only control the athletic department, the university and the town\ city. This imbecile can’t control his showers in his own lockerroom on his own campus.

  16. musketmaniac says: Mar 26, 2014 9:10 PM

    oh and julian, when you said ` I cant and I wont. Wow do you realize that makes you sound like a brainwashed follower, how was your time spent with the cult.

  17. julian1030 says: Mar 26, 2014 9:57 PM

    Read the whole sentence maniac. I said that I can’t and won’t assume what Joe knew. I say that because we still don’t know what he knew. You sound like the one in a cult. Did you know that Sandusky retired after the 99 season? Joe didn’t give him access to the PSU facilities; the administration did.

    You frame your argument within the parameters that Joe is either all knowing and ignored what was going on or he is a dundering fool who should have known.

    Nice try hater,

  18. fissilemissile says: Mar 26, 2014 11:28 PM

    Julian, we know that Joe knew because he reported it to his superior. The fact that he did nothing else about it is disgusting. It was right to take down his statue and remove him from any association to the school.

  19. musketmaniac says: Mar 27, 2014 2:15 AM

    lol, I have said it once and I’ll say it again. I give you psu fans some credit. you guys are going to fight this one to the end.

  20. zimmy2014 says: Mar 27, 2014 9:11 AM

    Fissilemissile and Musketmaniac I am going to briefly address both your posts…First off it is infuriating to the people that have read every possible report about the Sandusky scandal that there is so much misinformation out there. I get that the average media consumer is pretty lazy and its not only natural but easier just to believe what you are told, and to be honest if this story didn’t revolve around Penn State I would be in the same boat, but I will never trust the way a story is reported in the main stream media again.

    Sometime last year one of the DA’s that worked on the Sandusky case and I believe is working on the remaining trials bluntly said there is no evidence to support Paterno covered up anything. In fact the DA’s office commended Paterno’s involvement. Does that mean he is absolved of guilt? Certainly not but he would fall way down the list.

    If you read any expert that has looked at this tragedy they basically say this case breaks like most child sex abuse cases. Human beings don’t want to believe someone they know and believe to be a good person could be a monster. They also say that Paterno actually did more than most in a similar position do.

    Paterno admitted that with the benefit of hindsight he wishes he could have done more. In my opinion he is saying he wishes he wouldn’t have trusted those above him and made sure he knew what was happening.

    McQueary has said Paterno did follow up with him. Now Mcqueary has some credibility issues but if you believe him than you have to believe Paterno did indeed follow up with him. If you don’t believe him then you have to question his entire account.

    We could go much more into the freeh report and the way the media covered the entire story but lets save that for another day. Just google issues with freeh report. If you just look at how many of his reports don’t hold up to even minor scrutiny you will understand why the media narrative in this story is so maddening to many of us.

  21. normtide says: Mar 27, 2014 9:58 AM

    It’s frustrating to every ordinary American that some PSU fans don’t realize that children were raped. Nothing else you say matters. It happened on your campus. It was covered up by your coach. This isn’t some one threw a rock into a window, KIDS WERE RAPED. Maybe you don’t hear it, but you sound like your defending that system. Instead, maybe show some shame. But instead, your mad cause molestation isn’t as important as your old coach or your Saturdays.

  22. chunkala says: Mar 27, 2014 12:05 PM

    Hi, I’m Bill O’Brien and I advocate child rape.

  23. jonmannbaby says: Mar 27, 2014 12:12 PM

    I will preface this comment by stating that I am a Penn St. Fan. I will also state that I was molested as a child. Everybody has a right to their opinion as so do I. What Jerry Sandusky did was undeniably heinous and disgusting. No child should ever have to go through anything like that. Nobody knows the truth except those involved. It is easy to speculate based on sensationalism. I am not condoning or protecting Penn State,but the school was in a no win situation. It paid for an investigation by Mr. Freeh. So, hypocritically speaking. If Mr. Freeh came back with a glowing report, You would have those who would say that PSU bought their investigation. Damned if you do…I believe in facts….The sanctions were brought on based on a Man’s opinion. A man who didn’t have any legal or Subpoena power. So this entails a flawed report. Is There some truth in it, probably…I’m not oblivious or naive not to think that is not the case. But if we are going to condemn organizations for acts of flawed individuals…Why stop at Penn State…Look at the University of Montana…The Catholic Church, teachers, policemen, and those who have influence who abuse their power every day. Where is the outrage…Everything in this country would shut down. Because if you don’t believe that things like this aren’t happening as we speak, with “alleged” cover ups without complaining about that…Then you are just as self serving as those involved in covering up those heinous acts.

  24. dkhhuey says: Mar 27, 2014 4:47 PM

    Hey BOB – I noticed you didn’t stick around too long, eh!

    Bowl bans are as ridiculous as turning your back on a coach anally raping and molesting kids in the shower, at team hotels, and god knows where else. Face it, you used PSU to get your NFL head coaching position so S T F U and move on.

  25. musketmaniac says: Mar 27, 2014 5:42 PM

    mannbaby, live can change you. Im sure it was painful when this scandal broke. but you chose to support psu anyway. This all reminds me of the end of the Brad pitt Natzi movie. Where Pitt asks the Natzi officer if he was going to take that uniform off when he gets to America. And the guy says he’s going to burn that Natzi uniform. And Pitt says as he is pulling out his Bowie knife, that’s what I’m afraid of. So will blame all this on Hollywood, america needs a new hate.

  26. musketmaniac says: Mar 27, 2014 8:21 PM

    lol, life

  27. jonmannbaby says: Mar 29, 2014 4:49 PM

    No, I have the ability to separate church and state…Just because I am a Penn State fan, doesn’t change the way I feel about the situation…I am not in denial or in a rush to judgement. You don’t walk in my shoes, nor do I walk in yours.. So, for you to tell me I can change without knowing me, is very irresponsible….Much love and respect though….

  28. musketmaniac says: Mar 29, 2014 8:00 PM

    jon I wear sandals. though you are correct I don’t know you. My misspelled comment, though directed towards you, was more of a generalization. Something about how it takes horrific events to change perception. I thought with my natzi comments I was heading in that direction. obviously you did not.

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