Many coaches at Big 12 Media Days were reluctant to pass judgment on the punishment handed to Penn State’s football program by the NCAA. However, some said they would consider allowing former Nittany Lions to transfer to their schools if there was a need.
In a response to the university’s failure to act on allegations of child abuse by former Assistant Football Coach Jerry Sandusky, the NCAA gave “unprecedented” sanctions to the university on Monday morning which set restrictions on scholarships, future bowl game appearances, left the university with a $60 million fine and demanded the program forfeit all wins from 1998 to 2011.
“Obviously it’s tragic on a lot of levels,” TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson said.
Coach Patterson said it’s more important to focus on finding an answer to the problem of child abuse, not the sanctions or the football program.
“That problem is not just at Penn State,” Patterson said. “We’ve got to find the problem. That’s a world problem."
During Big 12 Media Days, other coaches also made statements in regards to the NCAA’s Monday morning announcement, which can be found below.
University of Oklahoma Head Football Coach Bob Stoops called the situation a tragedy , but said it was beyond his “expertise.” So administrators, presidents and them, you can trust they understand what needs to happen. And that’s not really up to me to judge.”
Bill Snyder opted to forego conversation on the topic, and instead stayed focused on the new Big 12.
“I haven’t thought about it. I really don’t know. That was probably going to be my opening statement, if I were going to give one, and that is there’s a lot of things going on in our society today, whether it happens to be what you’re addressing or things that have taken place in Colorado, et cetera. That’s not why we’re here.” –Kansas State University Head Coach Bill Snyder
“I think, first and foremost, this is a matter for the legal systems and the courts, and there's more of that to come. And I just– I'll leave it at, first and foremost, that's where this case is at. And I can't say anything or give my opinion about anything that's going to do anything to help the victims or their families.” –Iowa State University Head Coach Paul Rhoads
During Tuesday’s interviews, many head coaches were asked how they would feel about accepting Penn State transfers into their programs. Below are their responses.
“Oh, I think there's a lot to digest right now. It's all happened so fast and there's been so much information that's come out in the last 24 hours. We have not had a lot of success with players that have transferred. We've taken some. But overall the majority of our success with our players have come from guys that have come in and been developed in our program. This is a unique situation in what's transpired. And our comment, without getting together as a staff right now, my comment would be that I think that we have to take a look at everything that's going on. It is a long ways over there. It's not like they're a four-hour car drive from where we are. I'm going to guess most of those players are from somewhere in that part of the country. And so it's not a priority for us right now. But if there were some interest out there, I would think just like any other business or any other football team, you would look at it.” –Oklahoma State University Head Coach Mike Gundy
“So I think that, first of all, you have to be respectful to Coach O'Brien and the people who are trying to make good of a bad situation. But, at the same time, the rules are the rules. And there's several players that, when the dust settles, when the dust settles, I think there will be several players that entertain the thought of going somewhere else, especially the way it was presented to them. So I think that any program that didn't do homework prior to this decision coming out, you know, was behind on that one.” –University of Kansas Head Coach Charlie Weis
“Well, we don't take a whole lot of transfers. I think the biggest thing, whether it's — you take transfers if you need immediate help. That's what transfers are all about. I think it can be beneficial if you identify what your needs are.” –West Virginia University Head Coach Dana Holgorsen