Penn State is doing everything it can to follow all rules and regulations in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Bill O'Brien said, and the coach hopes the NCAA will take that into consideration and ultimately reduce some of the severe sanctions levied against the football program.
O'Brien spoke on a teleconference with reporters Friday, one week after addressing the NCAA sanctions with the Penn State Board of Trustees. The coach believes that all the good things Penn State has done over the past year should count for something with the NCAA.
O'Brien's hope is that eventually the NCAA might meet Penn State "halfway" and reduce the sanctions, which include a four-year bowl ban and significant scholarship losses.
"I believe that this football program is being run the right way, and I believe that we have great kids here," O'Brien said. "I think we've worked very, very diligently to stay in compliance, just like every other program around the country.
"There are a lot of rules to follow, and again, we make our mistakes, but we admit them right away, whether it's a text message or something that we shouldn't have sent. I think we are in compliance, and hopefully at some point the NCAA, the governing body of college athletics, hopefully they look at that, and they can meet us halfway."
O'Brien's presentation to the Board of Trustees included a slide show that was supposed to be private, since it occurred during an executive session.
But a reporter from the Centre Daily Times was able to read some of the slides through a glass door and reported on what O'Brien addressed.
The coach was asked Friday if he's disappointed that information got released to the public.
"No," he said. "I was invited down to the Board of Trustees to present to them the sanctions and my thoughts on the sanctions. I have been asked many, many questions over the last 19 months about the sanctions, so I accepted the invitation, and I went down there.
"I don't have anything to hide."
One of O'Brien's slides included the words "potential proposal to modify sanctions." As of now, there are no specifics known about what that proposal entails or when it might be brought up with the NCAA.
"We are focused on dealing with the sanctions as they are right now," PSU Athletic Director Dave Joyner said. "So whatever may or may not happen down the line is always contingent.
"We are not planning on anything happening, so we are paying attention to doing what we have to do with what we have been given to do and doing it very well."
Joyner added that the school has received "good marks" from the NCAA about its compliance issues involving the sanctions.
"I think the university has done an outstanding job," Joyner said.
O'Brien agreed, saying, "I believe to this point that we've done as good a job as we thought we could do."
Whether any of that sways the NCAA to reduce the sanctions remains to be seen, and any such proposal could take a while to be brought forward since Penn State is still very early on in the sanction period.
The Nittany Lions went 8-4 last season, the first dealing with the sanctions, and the program has continued to recruit at a high level, which could bode well for the future.
"It won't be easy, but I believe that this is a place that can be successful, whether it's with sanctions or without sanctions," O'Brien said.