Why is everyone - especially former Penn State football players - jumping off the boat in regards to Bill O'Brien?
People are overreacting and becoming too emotional. This hire is both an image fix and a football fix. O'Brien will not have to deal with any scandal questions.
He appears to be an emotional and enthusiastic individual - something we have lacked on the sideline for many years. His specialty is on the offensive side of the ball - something we have also needed for years.
The two PSU alums this program probably coveted were Al Golden and Mike Munchak. In my opinion, the exceptional character of both these men precluded them from leaving their current jobs and breaking their contracts after only one year at Miami and the Tennessee Titans. Joe Paterno taught his players to be better people than that.
I love Penn State, and I love Joe Paterno. He has gotten a raw deal in the media. But going forward, give O'Brien and his staff a chance. I have to believe Joe would say the same - and maybe he will in order to calm down the alums and fan base. I hope he does.
Get over it and offer support, not criticism. The program needs less turmoil, not more.
Good first impression
All I can say about Bill O'Brien from last Saturday's press conference is you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. He clearly passed that test.
The one thing that scares me is the Bill Belichick coaching tree.
By all accounts, Belichick has been the modern-day version of Vince Lombardi or as close to him as it gets since Lombardi stopped coaching in 1969.
Most of his assistants who have left have not had a lot of success.
The biggest case to compare O'Brien to is Charlie Weis. Notre Dame had hit some hard times, but once he put his mark on it, it went further downhill.
So only time will tell.
One final thought on why so many were upset with the way this search was handled: In situations like this, there is really no right or wrong way to handle this. In my opinion, the person who made this search look so bad is Dr. Dave Joyner.
He came across as a stuffed corporate suit that was completely out of touch with Joe public and mainstream America.
I have been around a lot of those types in the business world, and he was no different.
New Holland, PA
Nittany Nation must be patient
We were fortunate to not be affected by the increase (WHU) for Penn State's STEP plan.
However, one seat to the right of us, and it would have been additional dollars. We renewed our tickets and will continue to go when we can.
Yes, the last couple of months have been very painful for us. I can't wait for JoePa to speak. I can't believe he did not follow up a few times after his report to Curley.
If you believe some of the blogs, he did follow up, and the higher-ups told him to drop it. If he indeed follows up, do you think the media will apologize? No.
The problem with today's society is we are too scared for saying we were wrong because of ego.
It takes a hell of a man/woman to admit they were wrong instead of making an excuse. Our country has become a rush-to-judgment country and gone from innocent until proven guilty to guilty until proven innocent.
People need to wait until all the facts are presented.
The Nittany Nation is going to have to be patient. If we have a winning record next year, I will be pleased. If one person in my section boos O'Brien next year, I will turn around and say "shut up and give the man a chance."
Rome was not built in a day. He's dealing with a stacked deck. Give him time.
If I had one recommendation for Coach O'Brien, it would be to gut the Penn State showers where the alleged crime took place and redo it to remove any lasting memory.
I'd also like to hope that PSU will donate a percentage of its sports revenue to child abuse centers every year. Child abuse is now at the forefront and what better way to move forward by turning a negative into a positive.
Arthur Frey, III
JoePa deserved a better fate
The Penn State Board of Trustees acted decisively in firing Joe Paterno in order to deflect the laser beam off of their total incompetency in handling Sandusky's alleged sexual abuse of children on campus and their orchestrated cover up of the issue - led by Graham Spanier - for over 10 years.
Considering the 1998 Gricar sting, the 2000 janitorial witness event and the 2002 McQueary event reported to JoePa, who elevated the event to Tim Curley and Gary Schultz and then Spanier, the trustees should have fired Spanier, Curley and Schultz but not JoePa.
When Sandusky was told that he would not succeed JoePa in 1999, he retired to The Second Mile, but Spanier continued to allow Sandusky access to Penn State facilities with parking and building privileges.
Am I to believe that none of the trustees knew about any of these events in 2002? The trustees need to look in mirror and ask yourself: Did we do justice to JoePa? I think not!
The PA Attorney General's Office found no wrongdoing on the part of JoePa but yet the trustees fired a legendary coach in a very brutal and unprofessional manner.
Spanier, Curley and Schultz should have been fired, tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail, even if some of trustees would have found themselves on the rail. It will take much more than a new head coach to remove the odor from sad valley.
JoePa gave his life and treasury to Penn State, like no other, and deserves an apology from the Board of Trustees and reinstatement as a retired Penn State sideline coach with full Beaver Stadium privileges.
Until that happens, count me out.
Eager to see welcome O'Brien
Now that the dust has somewhat settled over the hiring of Penn State's new head coach, Bill O'Brien, let's kind of reflect back on some very wise moves taken to appease the Nittany Nation.
First, O'Brien comes off as a family man, showing up with his family on both Saturday and Sunday to meet the fans, media and his players.
And the coach is employing a little public relations in seeing his youngest son, Michael, dress up in football shirt No. 25 (Silas Redd) and a men's basketball shirt No. 23 (Tim Frazier). People like to see that. You can bet Michael will be showing up at some team meetings and practices and especially at football games with brother Jack and his mother, Colleen. We have to feel for Jack, who suffers from an impairment.
Make no mistake: O'Brien is Penn State and will return this bruised program back to national prominence in short order.
He has already laid the framework of uniting the key elements into a great family. It couldn't have worked out much better than to have two members of Joe Paterno's former staff, Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden.
O'Brien's players are already accepting him; the personal eye contact Redd mentioned when coach addressed his players at his first team meeting was good to hear. I can hardly wait to see this new offense and improved defense at this year's Blue-White game. And yes, we will fill Beaver Stadium to capacity once again in time.
Franco is more than a coach
In response to the article in the Mirror on Jan. 5, I would like to say on behalf of all who support John Franco:
If Coach wants to leave because it's what's best for him, his family and his retirement, then we wish him all the best. We would never begrudge that man anything.
Franco preaches the basics, the fundamentals of success. He demands the kids give their best. His goal is to bring out the best in his team, win or lose. What's important to him is character building and helping the kids be the best they can possibly be.
He has not only taken our fledgling football program and made it into one of the best in the commonwealth, he has inspired a community, given us something to be proud of.
And more importantly than football, he has inspired our kids. He is a mentor and a father figure. He takes boys who have no direction and gives them guidance. He teaches the importance of being a good student and stresses the importance of being good citizens and caring about others.
He is not just our coach, he is an important member of our community, and we love him and his wife, Sue. They are wonderful people. You couldn't ask for anything more.
TASD has had 18 years to give coach Franco the one thing he wanted, and that was a teaching position in the district. They failed miserably.
And now we feel the need to pressure the administration and board members to do the right thing by a man who has given so much to our community.
Unfortunately, now we need to be reactive rather than proactive in our approach. The troops have been mobilized, and we will not lose John Franco if we can help it, and if it is his desire to stay.