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Bill O'Brien Shows High Class and Character by Staying at Penn State

Bill O'Brien isn't NFL bound. He's staying at Penn State.
Bill O'Brien isn't NFL bound. He's staying at Penn State.Rob Carr/Getty Images
Danny WebsterAnalyst IIIJanuary 3, 2013

It's become no secret that college coaches wanting a head-coaching position in the NFL has become the league's hottest trend.

First it was Greg Schiano, and perhaps Chip Kelly may be the next college coach to bolt to the NFL. For struggling franchises, getting a new, fresh face into the coaching scene seems to be the way to go, and that's not a bad thing.

Another hot coaching prospect that was on a few teams' radar was Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien, who has had NFL coaching experience before, but not as the top guy on the coaching staff.

Anybody who coached Tom Brady for a few seasons should be a top-rated candidate any given year.

Amidst the disgusting scandal that shook the Penn State community to its core, the Nittany Lions finished 8-4 in O'Brien's first season at Happy Valley. It was almost a given that O'Brien was bound for the NFL yet again.

He had an impressive interview with the Cleveland Browns not too long ago, and one source said that O'Brien "could easily be the head coach of an NFL team right now. That's how knowledgeable he is.” (h/t CBSSports.com)

But according to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, despite the unthinkable sanctions handed down by the NCAA including a four-year postseason ban, O'Brien is staying put as Penn State head coach.

 

Bill O'Brien is staying at Penn State after NFL pursuit

— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 4, 2013

 

No one would've been surprised if O'Brien left Penn State to be a head coach elsewhere. But it shows a high choice of character on O'Brien's part to stay at a university that has nothing to play for.

Looking back on what he said when the NCAA's sanctions were handed down, O'Brien said something that caught my attention.

I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead. But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes. I was then and I remain convinced that our student athletes are the best in the country. I could not be more proud to lead this team and these courageous and humble young men into the upcoming 2012 season. Together we are committed to building a better athletic program and university.

There are those that say things because they seem right, and there are those who mean it. It's clear that after deciding to stay with Penn State, O'Brien says what's on his mind, and he means it.

He could've left Penn State and look for a reason and purpose to actually want to coach. But it appears that O'Brien has found his purpose for coaching: The purpose is to mold Penn State into the college football powerhouse that it once was, this time from the ground up.

For the next few years, Penn State won't have the opportunity to play for any national championships, any BCS games or participate in the upcoming college football playoff.

But Penn State has a few things that not many universities do and what money can't buy: loyalty, commitment, and a man's word.

Bill O'Brien has all of that.

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