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Friday, January 3, 2014

Surprised?

Raise your hand if you're surprised Bill O'Brien is bailing out of Penn State?

I didn't think I'd see many hands.

The days of Bear Bryant and Joe Paterno "coaches for life" are over.  The stakes are high.  There's too much money out there.  We don't tolerate losing as well as we once did.  If you have a few bad seasons, you're out.  If you're viewed as the hot coach of the moment, back up the Brinks truck because you're going to get rich.

I don't totally blame O'Brien for taking the Houston NFL job.  How do you say no to millions of dollars and financial stability?  However, I am disappointed O'Brien left so quickly.  A lot of student athletes and their parents put faith in him when the smart and easy thing would have been to transfer after the PSU scandal.  Bill O'Brien owed Penn State and the kids more than two years.

Credit where it is due:  Bill O'Brien restored respectability and normalcy to a program that had none.  Even when Paterno was there, he was out of touch with what was happening around him.  JoePa hung around far too long.  O'Brien won more games than anyone reasonably expected.

In a Harrisburg Patriot story, O'Brien lashed out at the "Paterno people" for their interference in his program.  More than one party in this whole episode needs to move on.