July 25, 2012

In the first 24 hours or so after the NCAA announced the sanctions on Penn State, there was a feeding frenzy expected for Penn State football players who had the freedom to transfer without sitting a year. Some top targets are almost viewed as rentals — juniors and seniors.

No surprise that PSU Coach Bill O’Brien is putting on a brave front, and talking of keeping the players together. It’s not so easy with the present recruiting class, as you would expect. But so far it seems to be working with plenty of present players saying they are not leaving.

Starting quarterback Matt McGloin, starting cornerbacks Stephon Morris and Adrian Amos, running back Bill Belton and wide receiver Allen Robinson all said they are staying at Penn State through social media.

Offensive tackle Mike Farrell, a Shady Side Academy graduate, and Fox Chapel product Miles Dieffenbach each told the Tribune-Review that they will remain at Penn State.

This shouldn’t be a big surprise. It also shouldn’t stop coaches at other schools from staying in touch with these players. This is a year-long courtship. Not a two week window.

Think about this. The sanctions have just been handed down. There is less than 2 weeks before training camp opens. You really think a lot of kids are going to be comfortable and able to easily make a life-changing decision to change schools this soon. After spending most of the past 6-11 months with an “us-versus-them” mentality about the whole Penn State scandal? After getting to know the new coaching staff for the past 7 months? There is to be a huge fallout right away?  They are going to up-and-go somewhere else this close to the start?

Most won’t go anywhere this year. And they don’t have to. Per the NCAA on Penn State players freedom:

Penn State football student-athletes can decide to transfer from now until the 2013 season (before participating in preseason practice with Penn State) and play immediately at the new school.

This is not a 2-week window to decided their entire future to stay or go. That would be insane and unfair. Emotions are too strong right now. Ties and loyalties still in place. They have this whole season to play at Penn State if they wish. And then they can re-evaluate what they want to do after their season ends on November 24. They will still be able to transfer without penalty for 2013.

They have a chance to play for Bill O’Brien. They can find out if he’s yet another pro coach in the college game along the lines of Weis, Wannstedt, Gailey, Sherman, Groh, etc. Guys that have the NFL pedigree but coach to a 7-5 mean in college. Find out for themselves if their campus life will be enough, when they know that the on-the-field stuff won’t get easier.

What happens after this season when a top assistant and recruiter like Larry Johnson, Sr. gets a slew of new offers. Yes, he’s a PSU alum, but will he sacrifice his own ambition for it?

That’s why I expect (hope) that Coach Chryst won’t stop staying touch with Diffenbach, Belton, Eugene Lewis and others. This will be playing out over the next 10-12 months, not just a week.

The hardest part for the Penn State coaches will be keeping the players after this season. Not keeping them before it.

It is much too late for any starter on 2nd teamer to consider a transfer … as there is no guarantee that they will get much PT. If there is a large exodus, it will come December/January

Comment by wbb 07.25.12 @ 9:40 am

Any tidbits on ND to ACC

Lots of on line stuff

Frank MD

Comment by Frank 07.25.12 @ 9:51 am

I don’t think any movement into the ACC is going to happen for ND until the rules/regulations come out on the playoff system and the 6 “elite” bowls.

Comment by ClarkLotTgate 07.25.12 @ 9:56 am

if it happens, it won’t include FB … and it might be the same set-up where they can replace an ACC in the Orange Bowl. If so, I hope it doesn’t happen

Comment by wbb 07.25.12 @ 10:03 am

Does the scholarship reduction count for this season or will it be for 4 years beginning in 2013? What happens if someone wants to stay but they don’t have a football scholarship for him because they have to reduce the overall number?

Comment by CalvinHobbes 07.25.12 @ 10:07 am

wbb: the deal with the Orange Bowl isn’t to replace the ACC. It’s being talked about that the Orange Bowl would be ACC vs. ND (if ND is “selectable” under the new rules for the Big 6 games)

Comment by ClarkLotTgate 07.25.12 @ 10:15 am

that would be more palatable. I hated it when a 2-loss ND team replaced a BE team in the bowls — as I recall, ND got blown out a few times when this happened

Comment by wbb 07.25.12 @ 10:21 am

CalvinHobbes – The scholarship reduction for NEW scholarship starts with the 2013 recruiting class (not the one already signed and reporting in a couple weeks) and the over scholarship reduction to 65 starts with the 2014 academic year. Giving PSU time to widdle scholarships down through graduation and departures without having to just pull scholarships from kids currently on the team.

Comment by BCPITT 07.25.12 @ 10:38 am

Does anyone else think that PSU has a chance to still be a successful program even WITH the sanctions handed down from the NCAA?

The sanctions could conceivably have a converse affect than what was intended. It may strengthen the resolve of the program. So far a lot of top recruits and players are stating they are sticking with PSU, almost to the point of defiance. They could very well win 9 or 10 this season.

They could also have lots of 4 and 5 star recruits going forward and fill the remainder of the roster with ‘walk-ons’, who would have had scholarships elsewhere but come from families that have the means to pay tuition. Hence, they can still get 20-25 scholarship quality players per year. If they do, they will probably still be able to field a competitive team in the B1G and win more often than not.

Sadly, there is a chance the culture will remain.

Comment by pghFred 07.25.12 @ 11:06 am

You got to love the nit wits, loyal to a fault.

If they’re comfortable paying the price for the Fab Five (Jerry, Joe, Graham, Curley and Schultz) then more power to them. Good luck boys.

Comment by Coach Ditka 07.25.12 @ 11:17 am

The players may be staying but the sponsors are bailing. Who wants to be a “Proud Sponsor of Penn State” football?

Comment by alcofan 07.25.12 @ 11:32 am

@pghFred. Had the same nauseating thought on the ride home last night. What if they still out recruit us the next 4 years. Maybe not in physical numbers, but still getting 4’s and 5’s.

Didn’t post it though, didn’t want FRANKCAN to have to reach for the aspirin and DEFIB!!!

I’ve gotta think, that unless your family has ties to the school, they are gonna be hurting.
Add the scandal, the no bowls, no championship game, I can’t believe any 18 year old is going to want to go there.

Nauseating thought though.

Comment by Dan 07.25.12 @ 11:33 am

They’re not fleeing yet but the talent in the form of recruits will dwindle over time.

The fact that players look to be hanging in there will deprive O’Brien of the excuse of not having enough players to compete.

People are going to get a good look at what he brings to the table as a head coach.

Personally do not believe he will be successful.

See O’Brien filling the gap between now and when the four year bowl ban ends. At that point would expect PSU to go out and get a big name to take over.

With the sanctions and continued fallout to come we now know why the big names stayed away giving O’Brien what is for him an opportunity he otherwise would not have.

Comment by PittofDreams 07.25.12 @ 11:47 am

I think had these players been able to leave back in March or April you may have seen a lot more take advantage of the offer. The fact is most of them have been there for a few years and don’t want to pack up their lives in a day and go to some strange place even with the consequences of staying. School starts in a few weeks and they have friends and relationships they’ve built over time. It may not be that easy for them to just pack up and decide where to go in a matter of days. This is a life changing decision, one that many probably aren’t ready to make quickly.

And the bottom line is they can still play and there will be football so it’s not like they’re forfeiting their career by staying. I do think next year you may see more players exercise their right to leave as they will have had more time to think and explore options. And I don’t see any way they can continue to get highly regarded recruits, maybe a few exceptions here and there.

Comment by Coach Ditka 07.25.12 @ 11:56 am

I think it is a scam by their coach to feed the kids the “the hotter the fire, the stronger the steel” line of bs to try to keep them at that university. The fact that there aren’t alot of schools calling goes to the mediocrity of the program and its athletes right now, especially the underclassmen. That is a telling sign.

Their coach has a moral and ethical dilemma this year as to whether he plays some of his young talent to keep them happy, versus playing young talent and risk them getting poached, should they have break out years and not sniff a bowl.

Can anyone confirm that the scholarship limit of 15 per year is a hard number. I.E. can they bring in 15 and cut 5 for academic/injuries,etc and the following year bring in 20? If they can’t manipulate the schollies, they will be in trouble two years from now.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 07.25.12 @ 11:58 am

I’m already past the Penn State thing. About Notre Dame, the whole arguement about remaining independent in football is goofy. They need the ACC more than the ACC needs Notre Dame, they just know it yet. The way the new playoff system is developing, catering to their subway alumni opinions is a mistake. Oh well, it’s no skin off my nose if they stay out.

Comment by Justinian 07.25.12 @ 12:30 pm

@Justinian. Absolutely.

A little disappointed to see the ol’ ugly head of partial membership rear up again.

I saw someone say, this is the card the ACC has to play to keep ND from going to the Big 12. Or may have been told, partial membership, or we’re going to the Big 10.

Speculation of course.


Notre Dame will never go to the Big 12. EVER. Football is king, however, ND will never be taking their soccer, baseball, volleyball teams to Waco or Lubbock.

They have had a lot of animosity with the Big 10, they are almost all large state universities, and Notre Dame would become just another team from the Mid-West.

They want their olympic sports out of BE asap. They need a real home.

To keep FSU and Clemson?? I say FSU and Clemson aren’t going anywhere anyhow.

I have no axe to grind with ND.

They have a ton of fans in the East. Would open up recruiting more in the South. Yes, they recruit nationally, but they’ve been taken down a peg or two over the years.

Fit in academically.

No more catering, we’ve seen that show before.

Call their bluff Swofford!!

Comment by Dan 07.25.12 @ 12:53 pm

I don’t think many upper classmen will transfer, but we will have to wait and see about the younger guys. Only 30 PSU football players showed up for the solidarity conference today.

There’s a current story on ESPN that several PSU players have reached out to UCLA… not the other way around

“UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. — UCLA coach Jim Mora said Tuesday that he “has his eye on a few” Penn State players and that a few have reached out to the Bruins to inquire about a possible transfer.

“We’ve had a few of their players reach out yesterday afternoon,” Mora said. “Nothing has been done. We want to make sure we are within the rules before we do anything. We want to make sure everything is clarified as to what is the process going forward and where those scholarships are going to count.”

link to

Comment by Dan35 07.25.12 @ 12:58 pm

p.s. With the PSU mess, maybe a little less of the “football money” talk from people, and more of the academic side, and olympcic sport side of things???

Would mean ND would lean ever more to ACC, no??

Comment by Dan 07.25.12 @ 1:00 pm

Except for the 3 top players I don’t think anyone is getting recruited. Besides those guys there really aren’t any NFL guys so yes a degree should be important to them and if they are comfortable there then they are going to stay. Big deal.

USC had defection because their 2nd string had NFL potential that could benefit from playing somewhere else. USC has tranfers every year because of the log jam of talent. They simply took advantage of not sitting out.

Comment by freebird 07.25.12 @ 1:03 pm

PSU is going to lose recruits and players, their coach can say what he wants but they are going to be irrelevant for awhile. Actually they are going to struggle this year, PSU had had a winning record but their non conference schedule is weak that pads their win total.

The recruits for 2013 will reconsider and once the season is over the transfers will start because the NCAA handed down the ruling in the 11th hour

Comment by WLAT and the Big Beat 07.25.12 @ 1:06 pm

One of the major restrictions on transfering to another Division I school is having to sit out a full year. That’s a big deterrent. That’s why Joe Flacco transfered to Deleware, when he left Pitt. By moving down a level, he was able to play right away. On any team there are people who are unhappy with their playing time. Now that the restriction has been lifted for the Penn State players, some will no doubt opt to leave. There will be others who choose to stay because of friendships or to finish their educations at Penn State. I don’t expect wholesale defections, but none the less, some will transfer to other schools.

Comment by Justinian 07.25.12 @ 1:47 pm

As dan points out with UCLA, that is one way that I could see the state penn losing a lot of players in a hurry. If buddies decide together to transfer to another program then you might see the flood gates open. Two or three decide to go here, two or three there and the next thing you know you’re down 20 players…

Comment by Coach Ditka 07.25.12 @ 1:55 pm

These discussions are all interesting and who knows how it will ultimately affect their program over the next decade. One thing that can be said for sure is that it will not be good. As seasons progress, recruits will look elsewhere. For me, the once high and mighty (and I say that jokingly) PSU has been reduced to what they have always been – a closed society run by an over self empowered individual who ruled based on upholding his created and cultivated image – and by those who blindly chose and still choose to follow…not lead.

We are getting close to camp. Can we start looking at Pitt, our upcoming season that is thankfully close and holds so much opportunity and excitement (at least for me)? For the first time in a while, I think Pitt is on positioned to return to hard nosed football under Coach Chryst. There’s a lot of work to be done, future recruits, many open and unanswered questions, but it’s all exciting.


Comment by Pitt it IS 07.25.12 @ 1:58 pm

@CalvinHobbes, it is my understanding that a student athlete who desires to stay at Penn State to finish their degree but has to be cut from the football team’s roster to comply with the 65 total scholarship limit come 2014 will still be eligible for his schlorship aid without playing football. (NCAA’s attempt not to harm the “innocents”).

@HuffDaddy, it is my understanding that the “loophole” that you are asking about, and that was exploted by USC, has been closed. The 15 annual scholarship maximum IS a hard number. If over time this annual 15 limit results in less than 65 total schlorship players on the roster, too bad. The 65 number is the MAXIMUM allowed on the roster come 2014 but it has NO bearing on the actual total that will result as time goes on. In fact, if you just crunch the numbers, after four years of this, beginning in 2013 and concluding with the 2016 incoming recruiting class you could expect to have only 60 schlorship players on the team. 4 years of 15 schlorships, 4 x 15 = 60.

The reality of the affects of the NCAA sanctions have not even been comprehened by most people yet. These sanctions will have a cumulative effect on the program with each succeeding year, especially if the wins drop off the deep end.

And we have not even calculated the damage from the ongoing lawsuits that have not yet gone to trial and their associated negative PR effect. This entire mess is far from over and will mire the football program and the university in general in a pile of $hit for years to come, especially if the trials linger on or result in additional findings, identifying others who may have criminal implications in this and may be accused in the future and then have to be dealt with by the courts as well.

In about 3 years Penn State football will be nothing but a shadow of the strong football program that it is today. Just wait and see.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.25.12 @ 2:10 pm

Any chance the ncaa could allow players to transfer TO penn state without penalty?? Maybe Tino would be interested, just sayin…

Comment by Coach Ditka 07.25.12 @ 2:19 pm

Now Coach Ditka, that is just mean spirited, I guess that after he transferred that you would then give Tino an extra slippery bar of soap to use in the shower too, huh?

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.25.12 @ 2:24 pm

Dr. Tom – and to think all of THIS and pending unknown outcomes could ALL have been averted in 1998 when they could have done the RIGHT thing. Can you imagine the good that would have come out of it?

Comment by Pitt it IS 07.25.12 @ 2:33 pm

The current kids are staying. They dont want to admit they made a mistake by going to state pen. Future un-brainwashed kids will look elsewhere

Comment by Tony C 07.25.12 @ 2:37 pm

I posted this last night the first schools to try to recruit penn state players were Georgia USC and Tennessee.
as far as players leaveing penn state i will stick with what i said before which was 3 of this years commits and 5 players all ready on team
i dont think there will be a mass of players leaveing which is to bad i wish they would.

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.25.12 @ 2:49 pm

@pitt it is

The authorities were involved in ’98 but no charges filed.

The McQuery incident is another matter entirely. If they contacted the ‘proper’ authorities and threw Sandusky under the bus as he oh-so deserved, the 4 stooges (Joe, Gary, Curley and Shemp) would have been LAUDED as heros and Paterno’s legacy would have taken another step upwards. PSU would have been EVEN MORE intolerable than they ever were.

But I would take that over the harm to children anyday.

Comment by pghFred 07.25.12 @ 3:23 pm

#AskASU – Hey coach, have you trademarked the phrase “high octane texting” yet?

Comment by Get the Glory 07.25.12 @ 3:23 pm

Some PSU fans are taking it as well as expected…

link to

Comment by Chuck Morris 07.25.12 @ 3:49 pm

Realistically, where were they going to go? No spring ball behind them, a couple days left until August.
I would not leave either…no sense in it? for what? 2 games?
If you are going to leave, now is the worst time to do it. Fewer players means it will be easier to get on the field.
I don’t blame thee guys for anything and frankly, I admire that they are staying.
different point of view for recruits however.

Comment by sfpitt 07.25.12 @ 4:02 pm

my point exactly pghFred

Comment by Pitt it IS 07.25.12 @ 4:03 pm

Why would any school want a brain dead zombie. Pitt is best to let other schools inherit the problem. These kids chose Pedo State because they bought the BS Poopy Pants sold them. They aint too bright and are very gullible. Not Pitt material. Once they drink the Kool Aid, there is no turning back. They will always be Penn State. Those players will never be able to say we are Pitt. F em and move on.

Comment by TX Panther 07.25.12 @ 5:38 pm

Heard on XM radio College Sports Nation a reporter from Centre County Times reveal that tranfers at this time will be very few. The timeframe for PSU football players will be at the end of the season in November. With no bowl the team will not be allowed to practice giving the players plenty of time to weigh their transfer options.
Also PSU is trying to schedule a game at Hawaii to replace their bowl game which will be a recruiting ploy.

Comment by spindler's spirit 07.25.12 @ 5:54 pm

Penn St was facing a 4 year football ban by the NCAA prior to their President negotiating the current deal. This according to ESPN OTL. The outrage that those penn state people have at their president is numbing. The man at least gave them a fighting chance. What fools!

link to

Comment by Pitt Fan in Atlanta 07.25.12 @ 5:58 pm

No mention yet of Chryst “reaching out.” Is he on vacation?

Comment by steve1 07.25.12 @ 6:35 pm

I personally don’t see why all the prognosticators are predicting doom and gloom for the team for 6/8/10 years. I see 3 worst case 5 years…Reason…This year most players are staying so whatever year they had done on the field will still be the same either way. Next year in my opinion could be their worst of all the years. By year 3 they can sell 4-5 recruits on the fact they will only have 2 years of the probation and bowl ban left and by the time they are juniors (first year they’re eligible for NFL btw) they will be bowl/ championship game eligible. So realistically 2013 and possibly 2014 can possibly be the only years they have lean years.

Now with that said they have to recruit effectively during that time or else this plan goes out the window. One or two misses and with the lack of depth they field an inept team.

This is a very real possibility…not my opinion. If O’Brien knows what he is doing then he will approach it this way.

Comment by J Bizzle 07.25.12 @ 6:58 pm

steve1 good point.

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.25.12 @ 8:21 pm

Joe Pa quotes on SMU receiving the death penalty and other juicy morsels. Enjoy

link to

Comment by TMG Panther 07.25.12 @ 8:25 pm

steve1 info for you teams to publicy have interest in penn state players are arizona auburn kansas ucla alabama usc tenn.
nothing abought pitt but i dont think he is on vacation just waiting for them to come to him no worry.

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.25.12 @ 8:48 pm

What, me worry?

Comment by steve1 07.25.12 @ 8:54 pm

i am a little surprised that any players aren’t transferring. the thing i wonder is if there is some bullying or pressure of players by upperclassmen to the underclassment to stay. seems like this is an opportunity for players who are buried in the depth charts to seek a chance elsewhere. surprised no one is taking advantage.

Comment by pittisit37 07.25.12 @ 9:34 pm

pittisit37….they have until the beginning of NEXT football camp to transfer…fall camp starts in weeks so it would be difficult for any of these kids to figure out a school to transfer to, get there, and fight for playing time in the matter of a couple of weeks. It wouldn’t be fair to force these kids to make a life altering decision on such short terms…I don’t expect many if any transfers right now, but like other have said I expect there to be a handful by the time next spring rolls around.

Comment by BCPITT 07.25.12 @ 9:59 pm

pittisit no one wants to be first butif they stay and they start to lose game after game they will wish they had not.
are only hope is that the class that he gets in the next two years are junk.
But not many who are all ready there will leave
lets just hope pitts next two classes are better for us than the one we have so far if things dont change bye LOI day of this year you can count ours as little better than a good class for a mac school.

Comment by FRANKCAN 07.25.12 @ 10:01 pm

Ok…class dismissed now. No more pswho tallk.

Let’s focus on Pitt!!!

My first point is that I want a much larger photo of the female cheerleaders and dance team in the program. I’ll add one a day through opening day!

Comment by SFPitt 07.25.12 @ 10:14 pm

I was listening to one ESPN guys talk about USC and their scholarship penalties. He said that with 15 scholarships if they go after and get the blue chip guys they can hang in there. The cavet is that to do so, they cannot make any mistakes. That’s tough to do and to sucessfully pull off. He thought that, because they are still able to field a football team, they could be back in buisness in five years. That wouldn’t be a realistic possibility, if the football program was shut down for three years, as would have happened with the death penalty.

Comment by Justinian 07.25.12 @ 10:51 pm

link to

ESPN reporting that PSU RB is considering USC.

Does anyone know if Ray Graham’s knee is 100% and speed is still good?

Comment by Pitt in Oregon 07.25.12 @ 11:52 pm

There hasn’t been much in the local papers and news about how well Ray Graham’s recovery has been. He says he going to be back and I assume that means that he’s doing fairly well. It’s still only July and even if he isn’t completely up to speed for training camp, that doesn’t mean that he can’t have a good season. I certainly hope to see him play this year. I haven’t seen a running back with ability make the jump cut, they way Ray Graham does since Barry Sanders retired. He’s an amazing talent. Imagine him in an offence built for the runing game, with a good fullback in front of him.

Comment by Justinian 07.26.12 @ 8:19 am

When does practice begin for PITT? Can’t wait to hear news about the team’s performance.

I want Pitt to be consistent this year and well coached. No unnecessary timeouts, no delay of game penalties, etc. That would be refreshing. It would be a sign of stability that we need.

Comment by A 07.26.12 @ 8:39 am

@ J Bizzle, you are using some pretty fuzzy math IMO. I agree that this season will be the least affected by the scantions. They might even promote enough of an “us against the world” attitude to make it a great season for penn state, but alas no post season play or championships allowed, oh well.

Now the hurt begins in 2013. only 15 incoming scholarships and the total comes down to 65 for the team. This goes on for 2014, 2015 and 2016. Now throw on top of that, guys that don’t pan out, injuries, academic issues, etc. and all of a sudden you can’t field a team with ANY depth, even IF the first string remains good.

Now once things start going south, it doesn’t just turn around in a year. penn state will need two or three GREAT recruiting classes to restock and that won’t happen until at least the 2017 incoming class. So 2017, 2018 and probably 2019 to really get back on their feet, realistically, in a best case scenario.

So I see things looking bad to awful for the nitters from about 2014 until 2020, more like seven seasons. Of course, everybody has an opinion, this is just mine. Time will tell.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.26.12 @ 8:46 am

Justinian & Dr. Tom – The DR hit it on the head. This is very severe for PSU for a number of years.

There truly is no comparison to either USC or OSU, and in some ways SMU.

“There is a major difference. USC was able to stock up on recruits and FR those first two years because they didn’t have any roster cap on scholarships at all and were able to field 85 during their whole punishment period.

USC cut loose 5th year seniors and SR & JRs players who hadn’t been productive and loaded up before the annual scholarship limit kicked in. They literally used the “Scholarships are for one year” stance and screwed some players.

This is what is really going to affect PSU. It isn’t losing 10 scholarships a year that is the hammer, it is being capped at 65 for a full four years. That means they can’t allow any 5th year seniors to stay on basically, at least not if the want to have any quality following that guy.

Plus the NCAA limited PSU to 15 for this initial (2103) recruiting season – again, hadn’t been done before and kills any chance of PSU stocking up like USC did.

What this also does is mean that PSU can’t afford to miss on any recruits because the scholarship cap severely limits the depth the team can field in a few years. All thirty of their recruits for 2013 and 2014 have to be potential starters in 2016/17 if they want to win games at all. They can’t afford to miss on anyone.

This is why all the pundits are saying this cripples the PSU program for a good length of time. Even after the 65 limit goes back up to 85 at the beginning of the 2018 season it will take a couple years to get back up to 85 plus (25 annual limit + players graduating) those 20 scholarships that will be made up will all be underclassmen who probably won’t contribute for a few years.

These scholarship limits puts PSU in a bad place for seven years at least after this season because they may well be forced to play walk-ons during that time period.

So PSU finds itself in a position that no other team since SMU has been in and even SMU didn’t have a scholarship cap. To compare USC’s punishment to PSU’s isn’t valid once you factor all the above in.

This is why I say they didn’t get off easy.

Everyone looks at the Death Penalty but if the NCAA gave them the death penalty for one year and didn’t drastically reduce the scholarship limits like they did now – that would be a lot better for PSU football in the long run.

Dr. Tom hit the point that is a key here – with those 65 scholarships on the roster limits PSU may well be forced to play walk ons.

In all probability, and as Chas said, this stark reality is going to hit the existing players, including the class of 2013, very hard after this season. Once the crunch the numbers and start talking to other coaches, parents, etc they are going to realize that not only are they banned from bowls – they will suck so badly they probably won’t go to bowls for a few years after the ban is lifted.

All the players who are pledging their love now and the recruits who are saying “after a redshirt year I’ll have two years of bowls are ill-informed.

First off O’Brien will not have the luxury of redshirting anyone after this season. Secondly, every single kid they recruit will HAVE to be top shelf, which they won’t, again, when the reality kicks in and every coach in the US is going to be legitimately using negative recruiting against PSU.

Comment by Reed 07.26.12 @ 8:48 am

Reed, I am in agreement with everything you’ve said. I just was conveying an opinion I heard by an ESPN commentator. Hey we lived through the Paul Hacket tenure and years following at Pitt. So I fully relize how tough it is to compete without the necessary talent on the field. Acutally during those years I thought the Pitt football program was irrevocably lost. Walt Harris did an amazing job reserecting the program.
Penn State is going to have a long hard road to rebuild their program. A one year death penalty wouldn’t have been as bad. However, the reports out of Penn State are that the alternative was a four year death penalty, which have much much worse.

Comment by Justinian 07.26.12 @ 9:24 am

I don’t see Paul Chryst going after any of their guys. However I fully expect him going after and getting a lot more of the Pennsylania players in what was formerly Penn State territory. That should play out over the next few years and will probably pick up as their program declines. I think Chryst comes accross as honest and sincere and I think that appeals to a lot of the players and their parents.

Comment by Justinian 07.26.12 @ 9:52 am

I agree I told a few people I would be surprised if any current players came to Pitt. Not sure if any recruits will flip to Pitt but either way this is no reflection on Chryst. Call it taking the High Road or being classy I don’t think we win anything grabbing any PSU players.

Not sure why people are saying why would players stay either. They get a good education and I am sure they have made some good friends with their teammates.


Comment by giveitarest 07.26.12 @ 9:58 am

Just being a “devil’s advocate” here, but what protections does the NCAA provide from a “4* walk-on” signing an “education promissary note” with some wealthy alumni (either in the form of paying off student loans, or worse becoming the student lender) ?

Then the excuse will be… “But I was only interested in the great education that was ‘only’ available at PSU.”

Comment by CompLit 07.26.12 @ 10:04 am

I think the call it.. “Unintended Consequences”

Comment by CompLit 07.26.12 @ 10:05 am

I also wonder how many good players would qualify for significant financial aid? Obviously many of the football players that they get to go there are typically from middle class suburbia and would have difficulty in obtaining a large aid package, but if they’ve got an excellent player from an urban area from a low income family, seems to me that they could get a pretty decent aid package based on financial need. Or am I missing something there?

Comment by Pitt Is It!!! 07.26.12 @ 11:07 am


Nebraska used to do this..sort of. Each county in Nebraska used to offer a local “scholarship” of their own, outside the athletic department. It went to big guys suitable for OL play.
That type of maneuver is now illegal.
But, if a 4 star player wants to skip a scholarship and pay his own way, and legitimately does so, then there should not be anything to prevent it.

Comment by sfpitt 07.26.12 @ 11:08 am

But being on probation for 5 years, I’m sure the NCAA will be watching them like a hawk.

I’ll be interested to see how many of their current 2013 recruits actually sign on the dotted line next year. They’ve already got a couple decommits and the NCAA news just broke the week.

Comment by Pitt Is It!!! 07.26.12 @ 11:09 am

I wonder of the NCAA will exert any pressure (either public or private) to prevent PSU attempting to get around the bowl ban (to some degree) by getting a 13th game through scheduling Hawaii on the road. That would give them a 13th game and a nice trip.

IMHO, it would make the NCAA look pretty foolish if PSU made some such deal to play Hawaii in Hawaii annually (or even every other year). This would be especially true if it involved PSU paying Hawaii to buy out the contract of another (or other) opponent(s) and/or paying Hawaii’s cost to travel to State College to play a PSU home game or two as part of a package deal.

Comment by pitt1972 07.26.12 @ 12:32 pm

@pitt1972, whey would you care if they went to Hawaii? The players are already being penalized. A game in Hawaii doesn’t bring the school bowl type revenue. The NCAA is already getting the pound of flesh they are demanding from the program. It isn’t like it’s going to be a major enticement to get players to come there considering the schollie limits. I could give a crap if they went to Hawaii. So if Matt McGloin and all his teammates go to a 13th game in Hawaii, you feel this is an issue? Don’t see how this would make the NCAA look foolish, if it were to happen.

Comment by Pitt Is It!!! 07.26.12 @ 1:09 pm

Maybe Hawaii can negotiate a 2 year home for 1 year away deal. Oh that’s right somebody else already thought of that. Then PSU has to pay travel twice also.

Comment by Jim 07.26.12 @ 1:22 pm

@Pitt is It–If they get the Hawaii game(s), IMO they are thumbing their nose to a degree at the NCAA and helping to ensure that their cultish culture remains unaffected by losing football seasons.

True, it won’t bring in more revenue and probably would cost them more in the near term. But, what it has the potential to do is give the PSU coach
a strong selling point to recruits that really could go a long long way toward overcoming the negative of the bowl ban.

O’Brien’s recruiting line becomes–“So what if we don’t get a post-season bowl game. We still get that extra game–you get a 13th game if you play Hawaii per NCAA rules–and you will get (at least twice in your career) to travel out to the Islands which is an even nicer trip than going to some bowl game in the mainland U.S.”

This would certainly help PSU greatly to ensure that each year’s 15 ships all go to 4-5 star recruits which keeps even a depleted roster of 65 loaded with quality and potentially highly competitive. That way, the 10 ships per year loss becomes close to inconsequential in its negative impact on the PSU program.

I am sure that’s what O’Brien and company are thinking and hoping to be able to sell. And, IMHO, it just might work if the NCAA lets them get away with that approach and the PSU administration and BOT doesn’t balk at the added costs involved with trips to Hawaii.

Comment by pitt1972 07.26.12 @ 2:17 pm

Where do you guys come up with this stuff? In the first place, if you look at the routine that most competing schools have when playing against Hawaii, it is more of a penalty than an benefit to do a road game to Hawaii, especially traveling from the East Coast.

They show up a day before the game and return home the day after. It uses up time from Thursday until the following Monday just to get the logistics taken care of for a Saturday game. Throw in the jet lag of being six hours off your regular schedule sitting on a plane for 8 to 10 hours and the perks don’t look so good all of a sudden. In the second place, with penn state being on probation, they aren’t going to make waves preparing a week and a half vacation out of such a deal just because of the obvious implications, to try to make it into a fun trip for the team.

At this point, they should be happy that they can continue playing football ANYWHERE and be satisfied that they get to go to Indiana or Purdue and get to enjoy that good midwestern hospitality of those parts, nough said.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.26.12 @ 2:57 pm

I’m sure PSU isn’t going to be spending any extra $$ on the football team having a vacation when $60M is being dinged out of the Athletic department funds.

With the full time compliance officer there for the next five years PSU would be crazy to try to get away with anything untoward.

Comment by Reed 07.26.12 @ 3:38 pm

Dan – Regarding ND coming to the ACC for all sports: NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

ND isn’t joining the ACC or any other conference for football. They would never, ever let the non-revenue sports impact football in any way.

And yes, it is all about the money and control.

Notre Dame, in spite of their lack of success on the field, is still a major draw both in person and on TV. Our own beloved Heinz Field is a perfect example. It sells out for one game every two years, the ND game. ND sells out stadiums where ever they go. This year they’re going to sell out in Dublin (Ireland not Ohio), Norman OK, Chicago, East Lansing, Boston and LA. The influential ($$$) people at ND love this (inter) national schedule. This schedule is also very attractive on TV. Their TV ratings are still very good. And their contract with NBC is huge. Love ’em or hate ’em, people watch. And that brings in the money.

They have what everyone is college football is dying for, total control and big dollars. Why in the world would they want to give that up to join a conference?

To help their women’s lacrosse team? Please.

Joining a conference for football would require pretty major schedule changes (none for the better, remember they play who they want, when they want, where they want). It would also require them to share some of their TV money.

The BCS (and NCAA) seem all too willing to bend over backwards to include ND football in the bowl and playoff systems.

I just don’t see a scenario where joining a conference would bring them more money. And worse it would require them to give up some freedom and autonomy. I see both as being antithetical to their culture.

Comment by boubacar aw 07.26.12 @ 4:30 pm

Dr. Tom, Reed et al. The Hawaii thing isn’t totally a figment of my imagination. O’Brien has actually publicly mentioned they are trying to schedule a game at Hawaii.

I suppose if they were to do the Hawaii thing just before a bye week they could stay an extra day or two after to make it “their bowl game” substitute.

I do hope you are right that the Admin etc. won’t let them spend the money to do it. I am not so certain, though.

PSU might view it as a long term investment to make it easier to stay as competitive as possible and return faster after the sanctions end.

Comment by pitt1972 07.26.12 @ 5:27 pm

boubacar–were you at Heinz for the last ND game? I was and it was far from a sellout. I had no trouble getting good single game seats for the game and there were plenty of empty yellow seats everywhere. That being said, your more generic point still holds some validity although ND’s “subway alumni” loyal following has been headed downhill for decades now.

Comment by pitt1972 07.26.12 @ 5:34 pm

For my money, I’d never let ND attach itself to the ACC for everything but football, like the parasite they were to the BE. Instead, I’d offer to let them keep their TV money deal all to themselves but make them join for all sports. That means that they would have to share and share alike their bowl revenues and ACC schools get a guaranteed full home stadium every time they play ND at home. If you let them be a parasite, they keep their TV deal money anyway, so this solution doesn’t make a difference to ND or the ACC as compared to that stupid parasite idea.
The trade off is relatively small, ND gets the benefit of ACC academic status, participation in non-football sports with a power conference in many sports, and gets to keep all their NBC money. In exchange, the ACC avoids getting used by ND like a cheap whore.

Comment by Taxing Matters 07.26.12 @ 6:20 pm

I just read the Sports Illustrated, “We Were Penn State” and in the article it states:

“In 2001, Curley, Spanier, and Schultz seemed preparedother allegantion-only to have Joe Paterno apparently talk Curley out of it.”

Then the article goes on to say:

In 04, on the heels of two straight losing seasons, Spa

Comment by Justinian 07.26.12 @ 6:25 pm

Taxing Matters: Your summary of the position the ACC should take regarding ND makes great sense. Furthermore,if the ACC should let itself be used by ND lets do it like an expensive (what was that word you used?). If necessary we (the ACC) can readily live without them.

Comment by opfim 07.26.12 @ 6:45 pm

opfim: Sorry for the indelicate language, but thanks for the shout out. Also agree with you, happy to see ND never be part of the ACC, and that has to be Swarford’s attitude to avoid that thing I described above.

Comment by Taxing Matters 07.26.12 @ 6:53 pm

I did go to Heinz for that ND game and the previous couple. I was a season ticket holder. while that game may not have technically been a sell out it was close and by far the biggest crowd of the year. Announced attendance of 65k. It was probably 60/40 Pitt fans. Kind of sad.

link to

Hey – there is a Boubacar Moungoro in the Aau game on EsPN.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 07.26.12 @ 7:23 pm

Just to be clear, the ACC should NOT take ND as a member for everything but football. They should stay right where they are in what’s left of the Big Least.

But I still have yet to hear a compelling reason why ND would want to join for football, even if they get to keep their NBC deal. What do they get?

The academics argument is complete nonsense. ND is higher ranked academically than all but one ACC school, Duke. Bowl money that they would split with other ACC schools? They already get to keep their own.

Then look at the schedule. Which games would they give up to play 5 more ACC games? Michigan? Michigan State? Navy? Purdue (ok maybe purdue), USC? This year they’re already playing Pitt, BC, and Miami. Could they play them every year?

Bottom line: ND does not want to be tied to a football conference. The other sports don’t matter.

It is ridiculous that we’re even talking about this (and that I am taking ND’s side) ’cause it ain’t happening.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 07.26.12 @ 7:57 pm

Forgot about Wake Forest. Nd is playing them this year too.

I would hate to see Pitt lose ND as an annual game. Tradition is one of the best things about college football. ND Pitt is rich in tradition. They’re pretty much the last traditional rival we have.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 07.26.12 @ 8:10 pm

Taxing matters.
The word you used is not vulgar. It is a noun. From this point forward, the plural form of that noun is the epilogue to the chant WE ARE.

Comment by SFPitt 07.26.12 @ 8:17 pm

To be a little more clear, ND does not want to go to the Big10 because they want to remain the big fish. The ACC provides that for them. Don’t think that ND is the draw that they were 15 years ago because they are not. They are perilously close to losing relevancy and power, like PSU will.

Folks that I have spoken to, indicate that ND feels their fit is with the ACC because they think they can win the conference in football and basketball. They say out loud academically as well, but make no mistake, it’s about sports. The ACC needs to accept them as a full sport member or no member. Everyone needs to remember that when ND went on their own, they had NBC wrapped up and there wasn’t alot of football watching competition. With all the conference networks and the other big networks televising games, the ND mystique took a big hit. For those reaons, I see an ND move in the next 3-5 years.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 07.26.12 @ 8:54 pm

Pitt1972 – I read that about O’Brien also but think it is a foolish decision in two ways. First PSU may well get beaten by a Hawai’i team when travelling over there. The Rainbow Warriors have made a name by upsetting teams that have had to fly and deal with the time difference. I wouldn’t think they could schedule Hawai’i before 2015 or so and they will probably suck by then anyway.

Secondly – there will be a NCAA “Compliance Officer” at PSU for the next five years. I think PSU would be foolish to even hint at giving their players anything more than the bare minimum that any other students get. Th ‘stay and extra two days’ would be, in effect, giving them a vacation and benefits that other PSU students don’t receive.

That is why school’s football teams fly in a day before and leave as soon as possible for away games. They don’t hang around unless travel is impossible earlier.

Comment by Reed 07.27.12 @ 8:47 am

Reed–Hope you are correct.

Comment by pitt1972 07.27.12 @ 9:54 am

@boubacar, I agree about their football independence.

Let’s face it, they are looking out for themselves, like everyone else.

What would ND really, really like?????

They would love for their football to be independent, and their olympic sports in the ACC.

That would be ideal.

I, personally, want nothing to do with that what so ever.

So, maybe we can’t force them in for everything. Agreed. Don’t let them in for partial membership either. We’ve all seen how that works.

My point really is, they aren’t going to the Big 10 or the Big 12 either.

Swofford, stand your ground. It doesn’t work, and they aren’t goin’ anywhere else.

Even if for some crazy chance they would, good riddance, we don’t need Big East-Notre Dame 2.0

Comment by Dan 07.29.12 @ 12:16 am

Which leads back to the question of what is going to happen.

Because, the other thing that is not going to happen, is Notre Dame leaving their olympic sports out to dry in the Big East.

Maybe for a year or two, but they ain’t stayin’ there either.

Actually, I do disagree. The other sports do matter, to a whole lot of people.

Yes, football is money. They have a lot of pride in their olympic sports, as does the ACC, and does Pitt.

Compared to football, no, of course not. But they aren’t sending their tennis team to Lubbock, and they’re not keeping their baseball team in the Big East.

So, what happens???

Comment by Dan 07.29.12 @ 12:23 am

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