Coach Bill O'Brien: 'Nobody is against Penn State'
Nov 14, 2012 (The Philadelphia Inquirer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Matt McGloin opened the floodgates to a national discussion of whether the Big Ten conspires against Penn State with his comments that the Nittany Lions would never get the call on tight end Matt Lehman's fumble into the end zone, a play that upon review appeared to be a touchdown.
Penn State coach Bill O'Brien did not appear eager to return to the subject Tuesday during his teleconference, going back to his weekly "moving forward" mantra, this time to Saturday's game against Indiana at Beaver Stadium.
But he admitted that his quarterback does tend to get fired-up.
"Of course we try to talk to our guys overall at the beginning of the season," O'Brien said, "and then weekly about making sure that they understand what their media obligations are and things like that.
"At the end of the day, it's a free country and Matt can say what he wants, and that's what he did. He's an emotional kid. But look, it's time to move on to Indiana, and that's it."
Vast numbers in Nittany Nation think those in charge have had it in for Penn State since the arrest a year ago of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on child sexual-abuse charges. The sentiment became stronger after the investigation that resulted in the Freeh Report and subsquent NCAA sanctions of a postseason ban, scholarship reductions, and a $60 million fine.
They have complained about a lack of penalties against the opposition when linebackers Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges break free on blitzes, and allegedly questionable penalties against their own team.
So when McGloin said, "We're not going to get that call ever, actually, against any team... that's the way it is," after Saturday's 32-23 loss to Nebraska, the fans took to Twitter and Facebook believing McGloin had confirmed their suspicions.
O'Brien, though, reiterated Tuesday that "nobody is against Penn State."
"Penn State has a senior class on this football team that to me will go down in the history of college football as one of the better senior classes of any college football team," the coach said. "At the end of the day, football is a sport played by guys that compete hard. It's just a great team sport, and nobody is against Penn State."
McGloin will not conduct his weekly teleconference Wednesday. O'Brien said it was not because of his postgame comments.
"I choose what players to talk to the media every week," he said, "and I chose for him to not be on that list."
Carter out. Redshirt freshman tight end Kyle Carter, the team's second-leading receiver, will miss the Lions' final two games because of a hand injury, O'Brien said. Carter was hurt in the third quarter stretching for a pass in the end zone. He finished with 36 receptions for 453 yards and two touchdowns. "He's had an excellent season for us," O'Brien said.
What NFL O'Brien, who spent five seasons on the New England Patriots staff, declined to respond to questions regarding potential overtures to him by NFL teams seeking a new head coach. "I'm flattered you would ask me that question," O'Brien said. "But I'm worried about Indiana and our Tuesday practice, and looking forward to doing the best we can for this team as a coaching staff for Indiana."
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