January 2, 2014 |
Bill O'Brien never wanted to be a savior. Mission accomplished. There will be no statue of O'Brien outside Beaver Stadium, no talk of renaming buildings for the coach who is leaving Penn State for the Houston Texans after just two seasons. O'Brien's outstanding contribution in his two seasons in State College is that he put his head down and coached football and didn't allow Penn State to sink to the depths of the Big Ten despite NCAA sanctions that tied one hand behind Penn State's back.
January 2, 2014 |
After guiding Penn State to two winning seasons despite crippling NCAA sanctions, coach Bill O'Brien has reached an agreement to become head coach of the NFL's Houston Texans, according to several news outlets. The news was first reported late Tuesday night by ESPN, which quoted league sources. The Houston Chronicle said the agreement would be announced formally on Thursday and that O'Brien would be in attendance. There was no word on the length of the contract nor how much it will pay O'Brien, 44. The coach is on the hook for a buyout of close to $6.7 million, presumably to be taken care of by Houston, to get out of his Penn State contract, which still had 31/2 years left to run. The NFL Network quoted sources that said O'Brien agreed to the deal right at the deadline the Texans had set. O'Brien led Penn State to a 15-9 record in his two seasons, with his final game an upset victory at Wisconsin.
November 28, 2013 |
On a steamy August afternoon in the New Jersey Meadowlands, Christian Hackenberg ran through the tunnel at Met Life Stadium seeking to make the transition from promising high school quarterback to Penn State freshman on whose right arm rides the hopes of Nittany Nation. Less than three months after graduating from Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy, Hackenberg made it look almost seamless on opening day when in fact, it wasn't. "It was tough for me, I think, just trying to understand the bigness of the stages that I was stepping into," he said Tuesday.
November 25, 2013 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - A nasty wind began howling before the temperature started dropping, and snow squalls kept passing through. The bundled-up masses inside Beaver Stadium on Saturday could have saved their body temperature a degree or two by showing up late in the day. They had to know nothing would be decided until after dark. For the third time in four Big Ten home games, Penn State took things to overtime. This time, a Nittany Lions field goal attempt in OT faded right. A Nebraska field goal attempt from the same 37-yard distance was good . . . but no. False start on Nebraska.
September 27, 2013 |
STATE COLLEGE - Penn State scored a major off-the-field victory Tuesday when the NCAA announced it would gradually return scholarships to the school's football program. The announcement was music to the ears of Bill O'Brien and will undoubtedly help future teams. But the head coach had a message for his current squad Tuesday: Keep focusing on the present. "We'll talk about it briefly and then we'll move on to getting ready for our practice [Tuesday] and trying to get ready for a really, really tough Indiana team next week," O'Brien said 2 hours after the news broke.
January 17, 2013 |
Chip Kelly is used to dealing with a hands-on owner. If anything, Kelly may find Jeffrey Lurie hands-off. There is no doubt that University of Oregon football had an owner. Phil Knight isn't just the CEO of Nike. He may as well have that title for Oregon athletics. He reportedly has spent at least $300 million on sports at the school. Michael Rosenberg reported in a 2011 Sports Illustrated story how Knight can put on a headset in his luxury suite during Oregon home football games and listen live as the Ducks coaches call plays.
January 9, 2013 |
OK, Pennsylvanians, let's see a show of hands: How many of you were harmed by the NCAA's sanctions against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal? Gov. Corbett says you were, so he's suing the NCAA, which slapped a $60 million fine and a four-year bowl ban on Penn State last summer. Corbett initially accepted the sanctions, but he changed his tune last week, arguing that the penalties "irreparably harm the citizens and the general economy of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
January 4, 2013 |
Gov. Corbett said Thursday that his thinking evolved over time regarding a series of NCAA-imposed sanctions against Pennsylvania State University and that he decided in late October that he would sue the organization. His remarks, in a series of television and radio interviews, came a day after his office filed an unprecedented federal antitrust lawsuit seeking to overturn those punishments by college sports' governing body and months after he urged Penn State to "accept the serious penalties" without argument.
January 4, 2013
The politically charged decision by Gov. Corbett to mount a late, rearguard legal attack over collegiate sports' harsh punishment of Pennsylvania State University seems unlikely to help the university - or the state as a whole - move beyond the school's scandalous sheltering of convicted sexual predator Jerry Sandusky. The antitrust suit Corbett filed Wednesday - which challenges the National Collegiate Athletic Association's $60 million university fine, four-year postseason football ban, cuts to athletic scholarships, and other penalties - sends the wrong message.
January 3, 2013
CONFUSION was our initial reaction to Gov. Corbett's decision to sue the National Collegiate Athletic Association over the sanctions it imposed on Penn State following the Sandusky scandal. We were confused because Corbett the governor, who was once Corbett the attorney general, is also Penn State trustee Corbett, and those NCAA sanctions were accepted by PSU trustees quickly after the NCAA issued them in July. And although it's permissible for the governor to bring such a suit and not the attorney general, it is very unusual.