Monday the NCAA placed hard sanctions on Penn State including a four-year bowl ban, reductions in scholarships through 2017, the NCAA did allow Penn State players to transfer to other schools without having to sit out a year, and permit schools to contact Nittany Lions players as long as they informed the university of their intentions, following the Sandusky Scandal. Since the sanctions have taken place, Head Coach O’Brien has been working overtime to convince the players to stay put and ride the wave.
Coaches from other schools have been hounding the students from overflowing parking lots to even standing outside their apartments. Bill O’Brien spoke on the frenzy:
“Our players are in our building right now, and they don’t want to leave the building because there are coaches from other schools in the parking lot waiting to see them,” O’Brien told ESPN.com.
Stephon Morris commented on Twitter:
“We have chosen to stay at PSU & other opposing coaches are outside our apartment,” senior cornerback Stephon Morris said on Twitter. “Was that the intention of the NCAA? #leaveusalone”
Quarterback Matt McGloin also commented on twitter:
“I am a Nittany Lion and will remain one,” he tweeted. “I believe in the core values I have learned in this program. It is not Nittany Lion Football. It is Nittany Lion family.”
To my surprise my surprise majority of the players decided to stick by the university and chosen to stay with Penn State despite its troubles. Wednesday Morning more than 30 players stood outside the football facility as a statement was read by senior fullback Michael Zordich:
“We want to let the nation know that we’re proud of who we are,” senior fullback Michael Zordich said, flanked by his fellow players. “We’re the true Penn Staters, and we’re going to stick together through this. We’re going to see this thing through, and we’re going to do everything we can for the university. We know it’s not going to be easy, but we know what we’re made of. We’re going to do everything in our power to get this place back on track,” Zordich said. “I’m personally calling out every member of Nittany Nation – all the students, faculty, fans and family members, alumni, everything that there is. Please, please come support us through this, because we need you just as much as you need us. And together we’re going to get through this thing to the end.”
senior linebacker Michael Mauti:
“We take this as an opportunity to create our own legacy,” Mauti said. “This program was not built by one man and it’s sure as hell not going to get torn down by one man. This program was built on every alumni, every single player that came before us, built on their backs. No sanction, no politician is ever going to take away what we’ve got here,” Mauti said. “None of that’s ever going to tear us apart. Right now all we can do is put our heads down, and we’re just going to work. That’s all we can do. We’re going to fight for Penn State, fight for each other, because this is what Penn State’s about – fighting through adversity.”
The Nittany Lions has some strong players, I commend them for standing up and wanting to stand by their university, looking past football. Its bigger than that. Personally, I believe the players have a lot on their plate and Im sure their decisions can effect their entire playing career. Coach O’Brien has his hands full rebuilding this football program but with players like these, no coach or university could be more proud to have them.