August 9, 2012 at 9:23 PM
At the college football level, winning is the priority. But at Penn State, it may not be the top priority.
During Penn State football media day Thursday, Bill O’Brien was blindsided by a question. Do wins and losses mean more or less this year then they usually do?
There was no way O’Brien could effectively answer that question without looking bad. If they mean less, then he’s not doing his job as a coach. If they mean more, he’s being inconsiderate for the victims of child abuse.
O’Brien responded accordingly:
“Winning I mean... I respect the question, but winning is hugely important. Will we win at all costs here? No, that's not what I'm saying. Every time you step into a drill, every time you step on to a practice field in a competitive situation, every time you step on this field, your goal is to win. We have a saying. We will never accept losing at Penn State.
“Now does that mean we're going to win every game? No, but we've got to learn from the loss
and come out a better team the next week. But we're going to go out there and try to win every week.”
O’Brien has made every attempt to put the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal and all of its consequences behind this football team. But undoubtedly, the scandal will overshadow at least the first year of O’Brien’s tenure.
To recognize victims of child abuse and keep football in perspective, the Nittany Lions will wear blue ribbons on their uniforms all season.
Some players have left for one reason or another, but the ones who have stayed have come together in a way no collegiate team ever has before.
They’re well aware of their predicament. With the notable losses of running back Silas Redd, wide receiver Justin Brown and kicker Anthony Fera, the Lions probably aren’t going to win every game in 2012.
But there are way worse things in the world than imperfection.
“It’s not even about us going out and having a great season,” Hodges said. “It’s about the loyalty we show to the program and the loyalty the program shows to us. Guys came here to play for Penn State, do everything through thick and thin. We’re here to stay.”