O’Brien speaks with trustees

UNIVERSITY PARK – Penn State is devising a plan to approach the NCAA about reducing its severe sanctions, and football coach Bill O’Brien made it clear when he met with the Board of Trustees on Friday that the university needs a unified front to help that cause.

O’Brien met with the trustees in a closed-door executive session in Lemont Furnace, the Centre Daily Times reported Friday afternoon. Executive sessions are not part of the public record, but O’Brien and Penn State were not able to keep private everything disclosed in the meeting.

The CDT reported that the coach gave a slide show presentation and that some of the slides could be read through glass doors by those standing in a nearby hallway.

One slide read “potential proposal to modify sanctions,” according to the CDT report, and another read “individual lawsuits do not help us!” with the words “do not” underlined and capitalized.

O’Brien, according to his slide show, apparently believes that lawsuits filed by anyone associated with Penn State are actually hurting the school’s chances of having the NCAA sanctions reduced. One of the slides noted that any lawsuits will result in “bad press.”

A lawsuit brought by Joe Paterno’s family against the NCAA is pending, and it includes several members of the Board of Trustees as plaintiffs. O’Brien hasn’t explicitly come out and said he’s against the Paterno family lawsuit, but his slide show would seem to indicate he believes that suit is not in the football program’s best interests.

O’Brien was given a standing ovation by several trustees after his presentation, according to the CDT.

O’Brien did not make any statements to the media after meeting with the trustees, and he was not present at Penn State’s Lift for Life fundraiser on campus later Friday evening.