Penn State defends changes

Updated: May 16, 2013, 12:31 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Penn State coach Bill O'Brien fervently disputes suggestions raised in a report that player medical care has been compromised after the team doctor was replaced.

O'Brien angrily said in a conference call Wednesday with reporters that the health and safety of his players are his top priorities, and added that suggesting otherwise would be "irresponsible, reckless and wrong."

"When there are things that are not accurate, that are way off base, I believe we have to argue that and fight that and not take it lying down," O'Brien said.

The athletic department has been responding to a story in the latest edition of Sports Illustrated that questioned the quality of care and the motivations behind the removal of longtime team doctor Wayne Sebastianelli earlier this year.

Sebastianelli remains the director of athletic medicine, which oversees football and the new team doctor.

O'Brien said he had no problems with the care, but he's trying to assemble the right team as he runs the program.

"I believe there was no problem with the medical care last year, 20 years ago or now," he said. "I believe there is no problem with the medical care. I said that over and over again to my bosses."

Information from NittanyNation's Josh Moyer and The Associated Press was used in this report.