Penn State and former coach Bill O’Brien have gone their separate ways, but O’Brien didn’t want his exit to leave a sour taste in the mouths of Penn State supporters.
So he took to the radio to clear up some misconceptions.
At the beginning of the month, Patriot News reporter Dave Jones published comments from a candid phone interview with O’Brien. During the interview, O’Brien vented about his frustration with what he referred to as “Paterno people,” or supporters of late coach Joe Paterno, and their feelings about the job he was doing at Penn State.
Of course, O’Brien’s comments rubbed several people the wrong way, so he wanted to apologize.
"I felt like I had a ton of support at Penn State,” O’Brien told ESPN’s Mike & Mike show. “My staff had a ton of support at Penn State, and I regret that, that conversation even took place. I regret that.
“I know I had a ton of support at Penn State. Penn State is a special place. I believe in what we did while at Penn State, I think Penn State is in a better spot now than it was two years ago. I think my staff, myself, our players are very proud of that. I feel like Penn State is a place where you can win national championships and Big Ten championships.
"I felt very good about the support I had there and I apologize who took that conversation obviously the wrong way. I regret that conversation but again Penn State is a special place and Penn State is going to be in a great place in the coming years."
O’Brien was placed in an impossible situation when he took over at Penn State two years ago with NCAA sanctions and a faction of fans still upset with the way Paterno’s tenure with the university ended. Still, he managed to keep the program on track, put together strong recruiting classes and have a 15-9 record before leaving State College for the NFL’s Houston Texans.
While O’Brien felt the need to set the record straight about the support he received while at Penn State, the Nittany Lions have already moved on. They officially welcomed former Vanderbilt coach James Franklin this past weekend.
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