Wisconsin Coach–Kudos to you for being FAIR!!


By Rick Gano, AP

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said Thursday that he has no plans to recruit the players at Penn State, suggesting it would violate what he calls a Big Ten coaching brotherhood.

Other Big Ten coaches were not as quick to rule it out.

“We’re going to follow the rules and the rules allow you to recruit,” said Purdue coach Danny Hope, who acknowledged contact between his staff and some PSU players. “For us not to compete would be a disadvantage for our football program. Whether anything materializes out of it, I don’t know. If they’re available, we’re interested.”

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said he had a “problem” with recruiting at Penn State, but didn’t rule it out.

“I don’t know enough about the rules,” he said as the Big Ten’s football media days began. “If a player reaches out, says, `I want to leave here, I’m out of here, I’m gone,’ and reaches out to someone, the player has a right to choose, especially by the rules, to go where he wants. To actively go get a player on a team, I’m not sure. … I don’t really understand the rule, I’m going to look into it.”

Bielema has already decided..

“I made the decision as a head coach we would not reach out to any Penn State players,” he said. “I think one of the things that I’ve loved and appreciated about being in this conference is there is a genuine respect for everybody in our league that you are a Big Ten brother and … we’re a group of coaches that have a network that’s beyond anybody’s expectations and helping us in recruiting.”

He added: “And it wasn’t anything more than I have a group of 105 players that are reporting on Aug. 5 that I want them to understand and believe that I think they can help us win another championship. And to bring someone in at this point so close to the season, I just wasn’t comfortable with it.”

Illinois coaches were in State College, Pa., on Wednesday and other coaches have said they’ve been in contact with players.  Preseason practice starts at Penn State on Aug. 6.

The NCAA sanctions will keep the Nittany Lions out of a bowl game for four years and the players are being allowed to transfer to another school and get on the field right away.  At least 13 top players and as many as 30 affirmed their commitment to Penn State on Wednesday, including senior quarterback Matt McGloin.

Many are awaiting the decision of running back Silas Redd, who rushed for 1,241 yards as a sophomore last season.

New Illinois coach Tim Beckman said coaches seeking Penn State players have nothing to apologize for. He said the Illini sent a list of names to Penn State before doing anything else.

“We’re just following the rules of the NCAA,” he said.  “We were in State College but we did not go on campus. We went to establishments outside campus and called some individuals. If they wanted to come by, it was their opportunity to come by.”

Bielema said he was impressed by the Penn State players who gathered to announce their decision to stay.

“I’m going to be their biggest fan for every week of the year for the guys that stay there and stick it through,” he said. “My hat’s off to the coach and all the players staying strong.”

Eliminate Some Memberships on Penn State Board


Pennsylvania’s governor and Penn State’s president should not serve as voting members of the university’s board of trustees, the state’s elected governmental watchdog said Thursday.

Auditor General Jack Wagner said the Legislature needs to act on his proposal because it is not possible for the university trustees to be objective in restructuring the organization.

Gov. Tom Corbett shouldn’t be a voting member of the Penn State board of trustees, the state auditor general (and former gubernatorial candidate) Jack Wagner says.

His suggestions were issued ahead of a news conference to discuss them, and Wagner promised a fuller report in about two months that will elaborate on how the board can be changed to make its decisions more transparent to the public.

Wagner said the university president, currently Rodney Erickson, should not be a member of the board at all, and that the governor, who is now Tom Corbett, should only serve as a non-voting member to address concerns about a potential conflict of interest.

Corbett is a Republican, while Wagner is among the state’s highest-ranking elected Democrats.

Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley was dismissive of the idea. “That sounds like a recommendation from someone who lost a race for governor,” Harley said.

A spokesman for Erickson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Wagner also said the state’s open records law should be amended so that it more fully covers Penn State and three other so-called state-related universities: Temple, Lincoln and Pitt. And he said the Penn State board should not be able to meet without the participation of at least half of it 32 trustees — the current minimum is 13.

Penn State has received hundreds of millions of dollars in state support in recent years, and Wagner said the total is more than $10 billion since the university was founded in the 19th century.