Former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien wanted the Penn State football job badly enough that he passed up a potential interview for the Jacksonville Jaguars head coaching job in January.
|Former New England Patriots OC Bill O'Brien reiterated his commitment to Penn State on Monday. (Greg M. Cooper/US Presswire)|
Despite the massive discipline imposed on Penn State on Monday, don't expect O'Brien suddenly to run from his responsibility as head coach.
"Today we receive a very harsh penalty from the NCAA and as Head Coach of the Nittany Lions football program, I will do everything in my power to not only comply, but help guide the University forward to become a national leader in ethics, compliance and operational excellence," O'Brien said in a statement. "I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead. But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes.
"I was then and I remain convinced that our student athletes are the best in the country. I could not be more proud to lead this team and these courageous and humble young men into the upcoming 2012 season. Together we are committed to building a better athletic program and university."
O'Brien's statement is laudable and necessary at a time of great upheaval at Penn State. Coaching in college is about more than just preparing players for the pros. O'Brien's difficult task will be to lead a group of young men through a virtually unprecedented circumstance.