This bye week is going so much better than that infamous one about 23 months ago. With Tuesday morning’s announcement that starting with the 2014 recruiting class, the scholarship reductions will begin to ease, the light at the end of a very dark, 2-year long tunnel, has finally started to brighten. There have been rumblings around Penn State for some time that a day like this was coming. No one new the extent the sanctions would be reduced, but there certainly was smoke. When I first heard about the possibility, I began jotting down various theories and thoughts I had about what may be going on. Keep in mind, most of these are purely speculation on my part, but with what was once a possibility now becoming reality, I figured it may be fun to share a few.
- Dave Joyner hinted at as much earlier today at as he left AD meetings early in Texas, but PSU fans likely owe Jim Delany a hearty thanks for Tuesday’s news. Much like he did for Ohio State prior to the 2011 Sugar Bowl against Arkansas, it appears Delany was instrumental behind the scenes in beginning to move the meter. Don’t expect anyone to ever acknowledge that publicly though.
- I saw a couple people speculate about this early, namely Tim Hyland (@IntelligentCFB), but I always figured the injury possibility may play a part in this. O’Brien had dropped hints about it being an issue as well. Again, something we will never know the truth too, namely for legal reasons.
- The conspiracy theorist in me always wondered if there was a plan like this in place all along. It doesn’t seem likely, but the speed at which everything came together last July always left me scratching my head. It’s more fun to just blame Erickson though, right?
- How this effects Bill O’Brien’s long term future in Happy Valley is the million dollar question. On one hand, this job just became much more attractive, getting to play by the same rules. On the other hand, the “mission” of leading PSU through the sanction years will be ending much sooner than originally planned. Those conflicting ideas will be an interesting story to follow in the months ahead.
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