I sat in front of the television, just like millions of other viewers and loyal Penn State fans did on the day they were announcing the new head coach of the football team.
And what I explicitly remember is watching a man stand up and talk about taking on this tremendous challenge amid all the turmoil and hatred that was being imposed upon a university, a football team, the students and the entire state of Pennsylvania.
After listening to Bill O’Brien speak, my brother and I were amazed that after a two-month long search, which involved totally secrecy as to who may be the new head coach of Penn State, we saw and heard a man with integrity and what seemed to be a man who meant what he said.
O’Brien stood in front of a national audience and proclaimed he would be here for the long haul — regardless of penalties that could come to the football program.
He made us believe that he was going to stick to his commitment of beginning the new era of Penn State football and sticking by those players and recruits who made the tough choice to come be a student first and football player second —— even though they are under enormous pressure.
Those young men on the team honored their commitment in rebuilding the football program, and I believed O’Brien was dedicated too.
So I don’t buy some people’s viewpoint that it doesn’t hurt for you to interview with NFL teams — that it can only help the recruits in the future and keep open the drafting lines for graduating players.
Just saying he will be the coach for the 2013 football season doesn’t go a long way at all when it comes to ensuring the future players who agree to come play as long as he is the coach.
O’Brien is being more than well-compensated for taking the job and, in my opinion, there is no better place to coach when it comes to atmosphere and a place to raise young children.
What I want to hear is him announce that he is the coach and is not going anywhere until he has built the team back to a national powerhouse. The team is capable of being one of the best in the country.
So, Coach O’Brien, stick to your commitment, just like Penn State chose to stick with you. Be the man we all met on TV the day you were announced as head football coach.