CHICAGO -- Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti ripped the NCAA on Thursday for its loose transfer rules established to allow Nittany Lion football players to leave and be eligible to play immediately at another school.
Since those rules were announced earlier this week, many PSU players have been bombarded with requests from other schools.
"For them to say that it's helping us, for them to say that they're doing us a service by allowing us to transfer with no holds barred, no rules is a -- I'm going to choose my words carefully -- it's a joke. It's an absolute joke," Mauti said.
"There's been coaches hounding our players, man, like 10-12 calls a day, coming on a visit, on our campus, outside of our apartments, outside of our classrooms. To me it just doesn't seem right. Even some coaches from this conference. ... I've got a problem with that."
The open-recruiting season of PSU players was a major focal point during Big Ten media days Thursday, with every coach in the league being asked about the topic.
"I have a problem with that," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said when asked about other schools reaching out to Penn State players.
Illinois coach Tim Beckman confirmed his coaching staff has been actively recruiting Lion players. He said his assistant coaches were in State College on Wednesday but denied a report that they went to the Penn State campus.
"We did not go onto their campus," Beckman said. "We only talked to individuals that would be willing to meet with us. We did not go after them. They had the opportunity to come to us."
Mauti said he doesn't blame the opposing coaches for recruiting his teammates because they're simply playing by the rules established by the NCAA.
Asked if the whole process is unethical, Mauti said, "The fact that there's no rules, that door has been opened. You don't have to have ethics in this game."
"There's a right way to do things, and then there's the other way," Mauti added.
Penn State place-kicker and punter Anthony Fera reportedly is interested in transferring to Texas and has reached out to the Longhorns, ESPN reported Thursday.
Bill O'Brien was asked about the news when it broke and said he hasn't spoken to Fera and doesn't know anything about it.
O'Brien said he has not been informed yet of any players transferring and said, "I don't expect to lose any core, good players."
Mauti said, "We want to go to war with people who want to go to war with us."
Defensive lineman Jordan Hill said Redd is one of his roommates and he talks to him every day.
"At the end of it he has to make a decision," Hill said of Redd, who is being heavily recruited by USC.
O'Brien has said all along he would not change PSU's uniforms, but now he wants to make changes, including putting names on the back. Asked what changed, he said he reserves right to change mind.
It was widely reported Wednesday that Illinois had coaches on PSU's campus recruiting players, but Illini coach Tim Beckman said that wasn't the case.
"We were in State College, but we did not go on campus," Beckman said. "We went to two establishments outside campus and called some individuals, and if they wanted to come by it was their opportunity to come by."
O'Brien said he's tired of hearing people talk about how bad things are going to be for Penn State with the NCAA sanctions.
"We're alive and kicking," he said.
Some notes and quotes from coach Bill O'Brien, linebacker Michael Mauti, offensive lineman John Urschel and defensive lineman Jordan Hill.
* Mauti, Jordan Hill, Urschel say they wouldn't begrudge teammates if they leave.
* PSU doesn't have media guides here. Spokesman Jeff Nelson said, "There's just so much that's not correct anymore" regarding info/records.
* Jordan Hill on the whole scandal: "It's definitely been a life-changing experience. ... It's not going to do anything but make us better people."
* O'Brien: "You have to have a tremendous walk-on program" with 65 scholarships."
* O'Brien says walk-on program "will become a big part of what we're doing." They've gotten 150 emails & videos from kids in recent days.
* Mauti on walk-ons can prove themselves: "Guys have done it and a lot of guys have done it." was asked specifically about Deon Butler and Josh Hull. Mauti also pointed out QB Matt McGloin came to PSU as a walk-on.
* O'Brien on toughest sanction: "These guys can transfer with no penalty, so it's kind of like NFL free agency without the rules."
* Jordan Hill on the upcoming season: "We're going to kick people's butt. It's as easy as that."
* Mauti on Freeh report and Paterno: "That's not really something I want to get into." Said he wanted to talk about football.
* Jordan Hill: "We won't have a bowl game, but we'll treat every game like one."
* O'Brien: "I can clearly remember when I got the job at Penn State, [Tom] Brady telling me that's the loudest place he's ever played."
* O'Brien on how no one has ever had to deal with all this: "I don't care. We do."
* O'Brien said he can help players with how draft process works, how to pick an agent, what to expect in NFL team meeting.
* O'Brien's pitch to possible 2014 recruit: Education, 150 majors, 108,000 at home games, play in Big Ten, developed to play in NFL.
* Mauti said the video idea yesterday was Michael Zordich's idea because he wanted to get the message out.
* Jordan Hill: "We're not going to go to a bowl game, but that doesn't mean we're not going to be successful."
Jordan Hill said what happened in November was harder than what team is dealing with now because they were caught off guard then.
* Mauti: "The situation is not going to tear us apart."
* Mauti said the players "didn't know we were going to come until about an hour before we got on the plane."
The recruitment of Penn State players by other teams has been a big focus so far at the Big Ten Media Days here this morning.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer was asked his thoughts about other schools reaching out to PSU players.
"I have a problem with that," Meyer said.
Purdue coach Danny Hope said he is for doing whatever he can do enhance his own football team.
Wisconsin Bret Bielema said he made a decision not to reach out to any Penn State players.
O'Brien is scheduled to speak at 12:30 p.m. His interview will be on the live on the Big Ten Network, ESPNU and bigten.org.
Word broke late Wednesday that O'Brien is considering changing the football team's traditional uniforms and add names on the back, according to a story in the Reading Eagle.
It's not clear exactly what changes O'Brien would like to make, and he will be expected to provide details this afternoon when he speaks to reporters at Big Ten media days.
The uniform issue isn't the most important thing the football program is dealing with, but it has sparked enormous response from fans since the story broke last night. Many fans have expressed that they do not want to see the traditional bland blue and white uniforms change, while others say they wouldn't mind the change.
O'Brien's current stance is different from what he has said repeatedly since taking the job in January. He has stated numerous times that the uniforms would not be changing.
Also, Penn State running back Silas Redd is meeting with USC today about a potential transfer, ESPN reported.
Check this story throughout the day or follow Cory Giger on Twitter (@CoryGiger) for the latest news and notes on PSU.