Bill O'Brien has not spoken publicly yet about his decision to leave Penn State for the NFL, but some explosive comments he made a month ago surfaced late Tuesday night and shed some light on the coach's mindset.
The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, in a story on its website, published comments O'Brien made in anger on Dec. 4. The coach was asked about the possibility of Joe Paterno supporters being upset that O'Brien let longtime linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden go after this past season.
"You can print this," O'Brien, who had been having an off-the-record conversation with the reporter, said. "You can print that I don't really give a [bleep] what the 'Paterno people' think about what I do with this program. I've done everything I can to show respect to Coach Paterno. Everything in my power. So I could really care less about what the Paterno faction of people, or whatever you call them, think about what I do with the program. I'm tired of it.
"For any 'Paterno person' to have any objection to what I'm doing, it makes me wanna put my fist through this windshield right now."
O'Brien was driving at the time of the conversation.
He then went on to say, "I'm trying to field the most competitive football team I can with near-death penalty [bleeping] sanctions. Every time I say something like that and somebody prints it, it's skewed as an excuse. And I'm not an excuse-maker. I'm trying to do the best I can for the kids in that program. That's all I care about is the kids in that program. As long as I'm the head football coach here."
Which, it now turns out, he is not any longer.
In the same story, O'Brien was asked specifically if he's leaving Penn State.
"I'm not leaving," he replied.
A month later, he changed his mind.
- Cory Giger