When the NCAA handed down its severe punishments to Penn State on Monday, it made sure to allow for any football player in the program to transfer without having to sit out the customary year before playing again. So caring of the NCAA to keep the athlete, oh, I’m sorry, student-athlete’s interests in mind.
That being the case, it’s now essentially open season for opposing coaches hoping to convince Nittany Lions players to leave Penn State and join their decidedly sanction-less programs. On Wednesday, however, over 30 players publicly vowed to stay with the program. It’s still unclear if that joint declaration is going to deter the coaches from other schools staking out on campus hoping to catch the ear of any player they come across.
Yes, that’s right, rival coaches are actually hanging out in the Penn State football facility’s parking lot waiting to accost prospective yet current-Nittany Lions players.
“Our players are in our building right now and they don’t want to leave the building because there are coaches from other schools in the parking lot waiting to see them,” Penn State coach Bill O’Brien said. Here’s more from ESPN:
In the 48 hours since the NCAA levied unprecedented sanctions against the program, an extraordinary recruiting frenzy has played out on Penn State’s campus, where players are working out. At noon Wednesday, several groups of coaches from opposing teams were waiting in the Lasch Football Building parking lot to recruit Penn State players. [...]
As they boarded a plane Wednesday morning to go to Bristol, O’Brien and his colleagues walked past a group of six coaches carrying University of Illinois bags and suitcases. A Penn State official told ESPN.com that no words were exchanged between O’Brien and the Illinois contingent.
O’Brien declined to identify the players who have been offered up to 50 scholarships, but Illinois assistant athletic director Kent Brown acknowledged a group of Fighting Illini coaches are on Penn State’s campus to recruit “a player or two — maybe more.”
But when you’re Lane Kiffin, who needs to be in Penn State’s parking lot to recruit players when you can do it from 3,000 miles away.
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