Yahoo – Bill O’Brien has decided to stay at Penn State hours after word leaked that he had interviewed with the Cleveland Browns, a source close to the situation told Yahoo! Sports. The decision to pull his name out of consideration ends a week of uncertainty as the first-year Nittany Lions coach was floated with a number of NFL openings and caused a measure of concern back in State College. Penn State went 8-4 this season in dealing with the shock of massive NCAA sanctions leveled against the program stemming from the Jerry Sandusky scandal. They included a four-year postseason ban, four years of significant scholarship reductions and other penalties that made the program’s future uncertain. Sources said the level of the penalties stunned O’Brien, who had arrived from the staff of the New England Patriots to succeed legendary coach Joe Paterno.
While O’Brien, 43, knew he would have to overcome the fallout of the Sandusky scandal, he never expected such heavy NCAA sanctions. Keeping his name in the job market threatened some of goodwill that O’Brien had built in rallying the Nittany Lion program over the past year. The eight teams Penn State defeated this year finished with a 46-54 record.
After O’Brien’s interest in the Browns broke Thursday night, a number of Penn State players expressed shock and disappointment on Twitter that reflected the general mood around the Penn State fan base. O’Brien had preached loyalty and togetherness earlier this season. “Wow it’s a cold world out there,” tweeted offensive tackle Donovan Smith. “I feel like I’m back at square one.” ”Cold world, ain’t nothin sunny,” tweeted quarterback Steven Bench.
And the Penn State faithful can breath a sigh of relief. The guy they never wanted in the first place and blasted his hiring and threatened to boycott the team because he wasn’t “a Penn State Guy,” then months later took to Twitter to bash him for interviewing with NFL teams and maybe leaving the team that didn’t want him, can all rejoice that he’s sticking around to continue doing what is arguably the best coaching job in all of sports. Good for them, they deserve it. Anyway this is officially rock bottom for the Browns right? I mean what does it say about your franchise when a guy turns down your head coaching job to stay at a school with a 4 year bowl ban, like zero scholarships, a messy lawsuit coming up and permanent controversy? Like he chose to stay and deal with that rather than come coach for you in the NFL. Probably time to just pack up and call it quits at that point.