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LaVar Arrington, Brandon Short Among Penn State Alums Criticizing Potential Bill O’Brien Hire

By |2018-11-19T17:56:06+00:00January 6th, 2012|8 Comments

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.


Not surprisingly, former Penn State standout LaVar Arrington has strong opinions regarding the Bill O’Brien hire

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:


LaVar Arrington (@lavararrington) shares his thoughts on the PSU hire via Twitter on January 6, 2012

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?



Bill O’Brien will be Penn State’s next head coach. Where do you stand on the decision?

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  1. admin January 6, 2012 at 9:51 PM


    Wikipedia actually had it switched a few minutes after Mortensen’s report came out. When I was writing the first piece last night, I went to the page to check some of O’Brien’s coaching background and it was already there…

    To be honest, I wasn’t shocked by it.

    Anyone you want to see be a part of the staff, or do you have any predictions?

  2. Jared January 6, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    I was being ideological in thinking Bradley may stay on as the def coord because that part of the program worked; always had. I thought O’Brien might actually realize this and only hire new offensive staff (Hall, McQueary, and Jay Paterno are not good).

    The thing that really ticks me off is the BOT taking the decision out of O’Brien’s hands by firing Bradley. I figured this would happen but they don’t let the coach decide? That is crappy.

    Also, the BOT waited way too long to hire someone. Look at OSU, they had Meyer a long time ago! He must have already been recruiting and taking care of the top recruits. Once again, PSU will have a poor recruiting class because of the late decision. Oh, by the way, the Patriots are in the playoffs! So that means O’Brien has to keep doing his job with the NFL before spending time to recruit. The farther the Pats go…the worse recruiting PSU will have.

    As far as my point about being a Tier 2 team. We are not really contending for the Big10 Championship, let alone being in the Top-10 of the BCS rankings. Since the BCS in 1998, the highest we finished was 3 in 2005, which was a flash in the pan. It is not a consistent ranking.

    For what it’s worth, Wikipedia already changed the head coach to O’Brien.

  3. wangtangkiki January 6, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    Brandon Short is an idiot. Really, they didn’t go with the tradition of Penn State? I wonder if he realizes that the tradition is no longer sacred. It’s been tainted by Jerry Sandusky and Paterno’s failure to act. Also the fact that there was a cover-up.. Brandon Short’s response infuriated me.. and I’m not even a Penn State supporter/hater..

    I guess the tangible standard Short is referring to is to hide criminal acts for the betterment of the football program as to not hurt it’s “pristine, innocent, does things right” reputation it used to have.

  4. admin January 6, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    By the way, love to have you guys chiming in on the subject… some of the better conversation I’ve had on the site in weeks. You had so many great points and thoughts that you brought up, that I wanted to address them all, but didn’t. I figure if you come back on and leave more comments, we can go from there and talk about it further. Glad to have you stop by… Take care – KP

  5. admin January 6, 2012 at 2:03 PM


    Obviously, I agree, since I stated that the BOT had no choice but to go outside, and that we knew that there was going to be a lot of heat when this hire happened… and there will continue to be. I just wonder what’s going to happen down the road… this has to be just the beginning on many levels.

  6. admin January 6, 2012 at 2:00 PM


    Hard to argue with you on just about every point that you make… though I don’t know if I would go as far as to call them Tier 2. Then again, I guess that depends on how you would define Tier 2…

    As I said in the other post, it’s why I like the fact that they are choosing someone with NFL experience. It could bring in recruits.

  7. JW January 6, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    1) Jared is dead-on

    2) Screw LaVar Arrington – he’s one of these guys who is pissed that nobody asked for his blessing on the decision.

    3) No matter what Penn State does, there are going to be the people who aren’t happy because Paterno had to be fired.

    4)There’s was no real alternative but to go outside.

  8. Jared January 6, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Devil’s Advocate point of view:
    -PSU has not had an NFL QB since 1994 with Kerry Collins
    -PSU outputs mediocre RBs (Larry Johnson was good for a short time but beat up his girlfriend)
    -As you pointed-out, PSU’s offense is of the vanilla flavor
    -PSU has not been recruiting very well…losing many to OSU, Michigan, and other top schools.
    -PSU has not been a National Championship contender for quite a long time. We are basically a Tier-2 team now

    With all these points…why stick with the same, old ways?

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