I missed this yesterday during the storm, but acting athletic director Dave Joyner and head football coach Bill O’Brien released statements on the Penn State Athletics website following the release of the Freeh Report. Below is Coach O’Brien’s statement.
“Today we received the results of the Freeh Group’s investigation into what transpired at Penn State. I am carefully reading the report and recommendations with respect to the football department, including any gaps that may exist, to identify what changes can and should be made. I stand with the University leadership in a shared commitment to driving a culture of honesty, integrity, responsible leadership and accountability at all levels and within all units of our institution. We can and we must do better. Nonetheless, I too remain proud of the accomplishments and character of Penn State’s many generations of student-athletes, and I look forward to doing my part to ensure we emerge stronger than before.”
I can literally picture Bill O’Brien, with that focused demeanor and lowered brow, saying these words. He is not in a desirable position, but I can’t think of a better man for the job. Bill easily could have remained at New England, coaching one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game. Instead, at a time when many were doing all that they could to distance themselves from Penn State, Bill O’Brien stepped up as the face of the crumbling empire. Since then, he has done a fine job of beginning the transition from the horrific events that transpired over the last decade-plus into the new era of Penn State football.
Although there is a long way to go, I am proud to move forward as a fan of Penn State football and a fan head coach Bill O’Brien.
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