Author: Penn State's Administrative Dysfunction Pushed Coach Bill O'Brien Back To NFL

By DJ Byrnes on January 23, 2014 at 11:56a
Former Penn State Coach Bill O'Brien

Bill O'Brien is now the head coach of the Houston Texans, but it wasn't before he took a shot at "Paterno people" on his way out the door. He later apologized for his comments, but according to John U. Bacon, author of Fourth and Long: The Fight for College Football's SoulO'Brien's frustration was very, very real:

Dig a little deeper, and you'll see O'Brien's decision -- made at the eleventh hour, after much hand-wringing -- was based as much on the appeal of the Texans' offer as it was the lack of leadership presented by Penn State.

... "Who was stepping up and taking it?" 2012 senior Michael Zordich asked me. "We were. They never stood up for us. Not the president, not the AD. They were silent. Silent. Thanks. Who was standing up for us? O'Brien -- and that's it."

Trustee Anthony Lubrano, who was elected to the board as an alumnus in the summer of 2012, understands Zordich's frustration. "From 1995 to 2011, until they accepted Graham Spanier’s resignation and fired Joe Paterno, those two were clearly the face of Penn State," he told me. "Since their respective departures, no one has replaced them, and we've struggled to overcome that. New logos and slogans haven't helped, either."

The picture painted of how Penn State went about filling the leadership vacuum of Graham Spanier and Joe Paterno isn't pretty.  As with anything John U. Bacon publishes, it's well worth the read in full. It also makes you wonder what James Franklin sees in Penn State other than four and a half million dollars annually. 


Comments Show All Comments

GrayDay's picture

Franklin has the ego to want to be the new king and face of the place.

Hovenaut's picture

Great read, an excellent behind scenes look at PSU, Northwestern, M...igan and Ohio State for the 2012.
The PSU crisis and Urban's efforts for the 2012 Buckeyes to "buy in" to his program were very compelling.

Bags5150's picture

I'm one of those guys that hate our rivals with every fiber of my being and hope that they each fall off the edge of the earth...however, having said that I am smart enough to know that for tOSU to earn national respect we need the PSU's and scUM's of the world to do well.  It sounds like Franklin could have a tough road if internally things don't change.

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth~Mike Tyson

PittBuckeye's picture

So you're saying its Graham Spaniers fault that Vrabels gone?

WC Buckeye's picture

Oooh, I like that!

The only thing that's new in the world is the history that we have forgotten.

Grande Gustavo's picture

I blame Paterno.  That old gremlin bastard is still doing his best to screw us from whatever dark pit he went to.

The answer may not be at the bottom of a bottle, but it never hurts to check. 

dwcbuckeye's picture

Interesting article.  Makes you really understand why a good AD is so important.  I realize Franklin's teams did fairly well in the SEC, but I will take a wait and see approach.  Definitely not sold on his talk.  I wouldn't be surprised to see their team drop off a bit next year.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

O'Brien publicly vents his frustration regarding the lunatic cultists but no he really left because of the people who hired him.
The evidence provided? Quotes from Anthony Lubrano who was elected to the board solely on the platform of being a lunatic cultist.
That article is the equivalent of blasting Ohio State on the word of Ray Small.

BukFan's picture

Who cares?  He was going to the NFL if the Pope himself was AD and Jesus Christ almighty was school President.  So what!