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O'Brien's hire gets mixed reviews at Penn State

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10:59 AM ET 01.07 | Penn State will formally introduce Bill O'Brien as the 15th football coach in the university's history today at an 11:30 a.m. news conference. Joe Paterno congratulated O'Brien in a statement released Friday night by Paterno's family to The Associated Press. The former coach said he respected O'Brien's coaching record and that "Penn State has always been more about than winning" and that he hoped the program's commitment to education and community service would continue. Several former Nittany Lions, however, reacted angrily Friday to O'Brien's hiring, including LaVar Arrington and Brandon Short, a pair of former WPIAL standouts and Penn State All-Americans.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bill O'Brien, Icon SMI Bill O'Brien, Icon SMI
January 7, 2012  11:14 AM ET

Lavar Arrington: "I will put my Butkus (Award) in storage. I will put my Alamo Bowl MVP trophy in storage. Jerseys, anything Penn State, in storage. Wherever Tom Bradley goes, that's the school I will start to put memorabilia up in my home. I'm done. I???m done with Penn State. If they're done with us, I'm done with them."

Brandon Short: "I don't want to be affiliated with the university if they don't choose a Penn State guy because of our standards, our graduation, all the things that have been important??? it's no longer Penn State, so we might as well be in the SEC. They are intent on turning it into a booster culture. Ira Lubert went out and purchased a national title with wrestling and he's under the illusion that he can do that in football. Well, ask (Redskins owner) Dan Snyder about that."

January 7, 2012  11:18 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Lavar Arrington: "I will put my Butkus (Award) in storage. I will put my Alamo Bowl MVP trophy in storage. Jerseys, anything Penn State, in storage. Wherever Tom Bradley goes, that's the school I will start to put memorabilia up in my home. I'm done. I???m done with Penn State. If they're done with us, I'm done with them."Brandon Short: "I don't want to be affiliated with the university if they don't choose a Penn State guy because of our standards, our graduation, all the things that have been important??? it's no longer Penn State, so we might as well be in the SEC. They are intent on turning it into a booster culture. Ira Lubert went out and purchased a national title with wrestling and he's under the illusion that he can do that in football. Well, ask (Redskins owner) Dan Snyder about that."

LOL, yeah Doc, isn't those quotos the most ridiculous things you ever heard. Hell Penn State should be lucky to get "ANYONE" to coach that football team!!!

Comment #3 has been removed
January 7, 2012  11:38 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

LOL, yeah Doc, isn't those quotos the most ridiculous things you ever heard. Hell Penn State should be lucky to get "ANYONE" to coach that football team!!!

Yeah, Arrington's quotes came off a bit arrogant and self-centered ... all about him and his awards. Takin' his toys and goin' home.

I like Brandon Short's comments ... at least he had some balls to tell it like it is... "it's no longer Penn State, so we might as well be in the SEC. They are intent on turning it into a booster culture. Ira Lubert went out and purchased a national title with wrestling and he's under the illusion that he can do that in football."

He is spot on ... I watched the "booster culture" hurt football around here back in the '80's and '90's.

January 7, 2012  12:05 PM ET

Arrington was wrong in his criticisms of the hire. They weren't based on O'Brien's merits but just the fact that he has no prior connection to PSU and isn't part of the tradition. PSU absolutely had to hire someone with no prior connection to PSU. The new coach has to be able to say "I wasn't here then. I can't speak to that. I'm here to take the program forward, etc.."

This hire is bigger than the football program. This is also about convincing students, student applicants and their parents that the University is indeed more than about winning. Parents and students have choices. There are plenty of Universities in this country. Why send your child to PSU when you can send him to another school that doesn't have an awful stain on its corporate character? By its prior actions, the University demonstrated that it was more concerned with protecting its football program and it's reputation than it was in stopping the rapes of young boys. It seemed to be enough for the University and Paterno, if the rapes only did not occur on the school premises. Hiring anyone who could have had prior knowledge of the alleged crimes would demonstrate that the University still doesn't get it. Like I said, there are plenty of other universities in this country

January 7, 2012  12:10 PM ET

Bill O'Brien deserves a fair chance, same as any other coach.

Who cares what former football players think? Out here in the real world, PSU alumni, fans & supporters know that a fresh start is needed. That said, I hope the new regime includes a few of the current defensive coaches, because they're some of the best at what they do.

Penn State is a proud university with a proud tradition, and Penn State football will rise again.

Watch for it, all you haters!

January 7, 2012  12:29 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Bill O'Brien deserves a fair chance, same as any other coach. Who cares what former football players think? Out here in the real world, PSU alumni, fans & supporters know that a fresh start is needed. That said, I hope the new regime includes a few of the current defensive coaches, because they're some of the best at what they do.Penn State is a proud university with a proud tradition, and Penn State football will rise again. Watch for it, all you haters!

Nobody, at least not me hates Penn State!!! I am just appalled by the Paterno and Sandusky scandal.

Comment #9 has been removed
January 7, 2012  12:50 PM ET

They had to hire someone in order to salvage what remains of the recruiting season. The complaining by PSU loyalists isn't helping this IMO.

January 7, 2012  01:15 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

They had to hire someone in order to salvage what remains of the recruiting season. The complaining by PSU loyalists isn't helping this IMO.

Give it time. They will come around. It's hard for us Penn Staters right now. There is a lot of pain and confusion going on. The posters here with their high and mighty attitudes can just go somewhere with themselves. As far as we know, Paterno is not guilty of anything so that can just stop now. The foundation and the school will always be Penn State to me. While I understand what the alumni is saying, I don't agree. I will always be loyal to this school and the football team. We needed to hire from outside. Now we need to focus on what to do with the rest of the staff. Kudos to Paterno for being graceful.

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January 7, 2012  01:20 PM ET

Not thrilled with the hire because I don't think this is anything more than a stepping stone for him. Just a feeling. But....I'm happy they finally got a coach in place and time will tell if this was a good hire or not. As far as the players that are against this...they can kiss my _ _ _.

Comment #15 has been removed
January 7, 2012  01:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

after the current players whined and moaned about having to play houston, and then getting their butts kicked, they deserve a coach who isnt even afraid to tell tom brady to ****

If it wasn't for stupid crap like Twitter and ESPN (always looking to sensationalize things) no one would have known ... or cared.

January 7, 2012  01:27 PM ET

I think that they had to make a frsh start. But they should have been upfront about that from the very beginning. I think the AD led the current coaching staff and others on that he might select Bradley. They deserved better treatment in the process. They could have begun getting their lives changed around had they been told. And to have the news go public before they even gave the current coach a courtesy call was bush league. Now that this is sorted out, they need to formally get rid of Curley and hire a permanent professional AD and send this trustee back to the board.

January 7, 2012  01:50 PM ET

This reminds me of what some of us Wolverines went through when replacing the retired Lloyd Carr. My own attitude was "wait and see." I waited. I saw. I despised.

The circumstances at PSU are somewhat different. I invite loyal Nittany Lions to "wait and see." At least PSU doesn't have he turmoil of a panicked (and possibly illegal) hire. And if it doesn't work out, we Wolverines have found out that coaches can be changed.

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