While discussing the NFL Draft and his early decision-making as a new head coach, Bill O’Brien also provided some of his most candid thoughts yet on his time at Penn State.
Bill O’Brien praised his former players and ripped the NCAA Tuesday.
This came Tuesday during an interview at the NFL owners’ meetings that was posted on the Houston Texans’ web site.
In one segment, he called the NCAA sanctioned bowl ban “ridiculous” and explained not only his feelings for his former Penn State players but how he went about notifying them of his departure late on New Year’s Eve.
He said he called “every kid from like 11:30 at night until 4 in the morning” on New Year’s Day.
“It was tough. That was a tough deal because we were very attached for the reasons—everybody stuck together, it was a tough time, we won some games. We won some games that no one could believe we won, beating someone with 40 scholarship kids. So we owe a lot to those kids. But those kids, kids are resilient and they’ve got a good coach there now, James Franklin. I think they’ll be fine.”
As for those NCAA sanctions, O’Brien always did his best to give politically-correct answers during his two-year run with the Nittany Lions.
When he left for the NFL, “It was during Christmas break and because of the bowl ban, which was ridiculous, the fact that there is a bowl ban at Penn State, is ridiculous …
“I wish I could have had a team meeting because what I would have done, I would have explained it to them face-to-face. But we couldn’t, so I called them. I didn’t ever want to be somebody that just rode off in the middle night and never said a word. I mean, I love those kids and had a great relationship with all those guys. I don’t know if I reached every one of them but I at least left a message for all of them.”
Here is the complete transcript of O’Brien’s interview, which includes a segment on Allen Robinson.