No reason was given. None of the players talked Monday, either, after hearing the news that the NCAA, in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, had hit the program with a $60 million fine, a 4-year postseason ban and a significant 4-year loss of scholarships. We also weren't told then whether they didn't want to talk or just were told not to.
Perhaps O'Brien will address it Thursday. It should be noted that Redd is probably the player drawing the most attention from other schools right now, since, under the sanctions, any Penn Stater is being allowed to transfer immediately without having to sit out a year. Reports are that Southern Cal is the most interested suitor. But hardly the only one. In fact, players were tweeting that coaches from all over have descended upon the campus in hopes of recruiting some, if not all, of them.
Wonder whether that's anything the NCAA considered when it issued these penalties? Maybe some of the other Big Ten coaches can address that on Thursday, too.
Meanwhile, ESPN reported that O'Brien's contract was automatically extended another 4 years, through 2020, once the 4-year ban was announced.
In State College on Wednesday, a group of about 30 players did gather in front of the football building to offer a statement, which was delivered by two seniors, fullback Michael Zordich and linebacker Michael Mauti. Both are the sons of former players.
This is what they had to say: "This team is sticking together. We aren't going anywhere. And we couldn't be more proud to be Penn Staters now. We look at this as a great opportunity to have the ability to bring back not only a team but an entire university.
“This team has taken on more than any other team has faced in history, which is a testament to our commitment to our team character, our fans and our university. One man did not build this program, and one man sure as hell cannot tear it down. This program was built on the backs of the thousands of great men who put on the Penn State uniform. Today is no different.
“No sanction or politician can tear this team apart. No one can take away what the university means to us. We will stick together and create our own legacy. Our loyalty only with our team, coaches, fans and family, no one else.
“It's not going to be easy. But we know that we have acquired the strength that we have overcome and we will embrace our anger and burn it as fuel for this season. We can't wait for Sept. 1 [opener against Ohio], to be back in Beaver Stadium and play for Penn State in front of the best fans in the nation. We ask everyone to come out, show the support, wear your colors proudly and show that adversity makes the Penn State nation tougher and stronger."
Well put. It's just a shame that one of them or a few of their teammates couldn't have addressed many of the same things in this forum as well. Maybe at some point. Because, as O'Brien said, he's got some real stand-up kids. So why not let them do exactly that? If they want to. It only makes everyone look better. And that has to be a step in the right direction.
Contact Mike Kern at firstname.lastname@example.org. We invite you to comment on this story by going to http://www.philly.com/psucomments