As we know already, its Christmas time this summer in the world of college football. In light of the NCAA sanctions on Penn State, 123 FBS programs are going on a shopping spree this week trying to pluck the best talent in State College away to their respective campuses. While no official Nittany Lion has transferred…yet, the core PSU group had a statement to make to the country today. It is important to note that leading rusher Silas Redd was not present and is being actively pursued by Lane Kiffin and USC. Redd has not made any decisions to transfer yet (we’ll keep you posted on that decision).
Lead by Senior RB Michael Zordich and Senior LB Michael Mauti, approximately 25 Nittany Lions gathered in State College to deliver a powerful statement to the country this morning:
This team is sticking together. We aren’t going anywhere. And we could not be more proud to be Penn Staters now. We look at this as a great opportunity to have the ability to bring back not only a team but an entire university.
This team has taken on more adversity than any team has faced in history which is a testament to our commitment to our teams character, our fans, and our university. One man didn’t build this program and one man sure as hell cannot tear it down. This program was built on the backs of the thousands of great men who put on the Penn State uniform. Today it is no different.
No sanction or politician can tear this team apart. No one can take away what this university means to us. We will stick together and create our own legacy. Our loyalty lies only with our teammates, coaches, fans and families. No one else.
It’s not going to be easy but we know that we have acquired the strength that we have overcome and we will embrace our anger and burn it as fuel this season.
We can’t wait for September 1 and to be back in Beaver Stadium and playing for Penn State in front of the best fans in the nation. We ask everyone to come out, show the support, wear your colors proudly and show that adversity makes the Penn State nation tougher and stronger.
To watch the video, click below.
At the same time this was going on, Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien was sending a message on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” show in Bristol, CT. O’Brien acknowledged that some of his players will decide to pursue opportunities to play elsewhere, but stressed the value of a Penn State education, the chance to play in front of 108,000 screaming fans half the season, and be a part of a special rebuilding effort that will mark the beginning of a new legacy in State College. He also said players choose schools for different reasons and if one of those
reasons is to try and win a national championship, they won’t have that chance at Penn State, but if they have aspirations of playing in the NFL he and his staff will do everything they can to prepare them and connect them to the right people to manifest that dream into reality. O’Brien went on to say:
Furthermore, starting PSU quarterback Matt McGloin tweeted the following statement last night:
“If I have learned anything from this game, it is: “tough times don’t last, tough people do.” This program has been through some hard times. I and many others, have stayed here out of love for this university; its academic programs, teammates, our wonderful fans and tremendous student body. We, as student-athletes, are being punished for going to class, graduating, being involved in the community and playing football. Even though these penalties are extremely harsh, I am a Nittany Lion and will remain one. I believe in the core values I have learned in this program. It is not Nittany Lion Football. It is Nittany Lion family. I encourage all players, recruits, and supporters to stay committed to the greatest football program in America. Scholarships and bowl games cannot destroy the fabric of our family. Coach O’Brien and his staff will lead us through this difficult time. All I ask is for the fans to continue to believe in us. WE ARE!”
If O’Brien is able to keep this core group of Nittany Lions together, as well as convince the incoming recruits that this is their time to be apart of something special and to live out their dreams of bleeding blue and white in Beaver
Stadium, it will go down as one of the most impressive accomplishments in sports history.
The NCAA has not only devistated that football program- they have decimated a university, town, and culture. They have effected the innocent lives of tens of thousands of not only current students and student-athletes, but the future generation of prospective Penn Staters. They have largely messed with the lives of local merchants, business owners, and residents of State College who have been busting their ass for decades in the Penn State community. If O’Brien is able to pull this off, it will be a righteous opening chapter to the beginning of a new era at Penn State.