Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Penn State still mired in uncertainty
By Brian Bennett
Joe Paterno was fired exactly two months ago today. And who will replace Paterno as head coach at Penn State?
We still don't know.
Today also begins a short open window where coaches can contact recruits. They can do so until Saturday. Interim coach Tom Bradley is going out to meet recruits this week even though he has no idea whether he'll be retained by the school. Bradley is in a very difficult position in trying to sell prospects on Penn State. High school players want to know who their head coach will be, and Bradley can't give them that answer.
Some Nittany Lions fans and boosters still held out hope that Boise State's Chris Petersen would change his mind and come to State College. Petersesn just got a raise and a new deal with the Broncos.
StateCollege.com reports that Rutgers coach Greg Schiano may be a candidate. Schiano, a former Penn State assistant, had long been mentioned as a potential Paterno successor down the road, but his stock had cooled as the Scarlet Knights struggled to repeat their success from a breakthrough 2006 season. Rutgers did win the New Era Pinstripe Bowl this year. He has run a clean program that has excelled at graduating players, and Penn State could do a whole lot worse at this point.
Otherwise, most of the chatter has been about NFL assistants, like New England's Bill O'Brien, San Francisco's Greg Roman and Green Bay's Tom Clements. All of those teams are in the playoffs, so perhaps that is the delay on further word with them.
As the New York Times reported earlier this week, interim athletic director Dave Joyner and trustee Ira M. Lubert appear to doing most of the work on the search alone, and neither has any experience hiring a coach. Penn State fans' hopes are dwindling for a big name coming out of nowhere.
Meanwhile, we wait and wait. It's been two full months since the board of trustees dumped Paterno with a phone call. When will they finally call upon a successor?