Reports say that while Bill O’Brien has agreed to become Penn State’s next head coach, an agreement has yet to be reached and a contract has yet to be signed.
The ink isn’t dry – and likely hasn’t even reached the paper – yet the potential hire of O’Brien already has its share of high-profile critics.
Specifically, it has drawn the ire of two Penn State football alums, LaVar Arrington and Brandon Short. Each spent significant time in the NFL, most notably in the NFC East division.
This news should come as no surprise to anyone.
Those that have followed Penn State football in any way, shape, or form realize that it’s a very close-knit family. There have been numerous father-son player combinations over the years.
On the other side, the Penn State Board of Trustees faced such an outcry from the public, they were left with no choice but to clean house and move outside of the Penn State family.
Left in the wake of this decision are the fans, families, as well as current and former Pen State players. Some are just a lot more outspoken than others.
Enter Short and Arrington, who have each chimed in across various media outlets.
As reported by Jon Saraceno of USA Today, Brandon Short discussed how a handful of Penn State Football Letterman’s Club members have set up a meeting with interim AD David Joyner to discuss the potential Bill O’Brien hire.
Regarding O’Brien, Short had additional thoughts. “There is a tangible standard at Penn State that this poor (O’Brien) guy knows nothing about”, Short said. “I feel badly for him (because) he is clueless and will not have the support of the majority of the Lettermen”, he went on to tell the paper.
Add Arrington to the mix of other Penn State alums that share similar feelings about Penn State’s reported decision to move forward with O’Brien.
Via his account on Twitter, Arrington had the following thoughts to share on his timeline:
Again, this was to be expected. That goes double for LaVar, who possesses a very strong and colorful personality.
When you have a family this close, ripping it apart from the seams is going to lead to more controversy.
But Joyner and the Board of Trustees clearly felt there was no other choice. It would be wise for them to chime in and provide more insight. However, they are likely to avoid the spotlight, as they have over the last few months.
Whatever happens, this is the current decision. It is just taking a lot of heat.
Penn Staters around the globe will either have to live with it and attempt to embrace it. If not, they’ll have to cut ties with the PSU family, much like LaVar Arrington has claimed that he will do.
The question remains, which side do you stand on?
WE ARE, or WE AREN’T?