Dienhart: Coaches Discuss Penn State Situation

Most coaches were asked about recruiting Penn State players after a recent report  that Illinois had assistant coaches at Penn State, presumably to recruit Nittany Lions who are eligible to transfer to any school and play immediately. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer isn’t doing it. Neither is Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema. But other Big Ten coaches are recruiting Nittany Lions—or wouldn’t be opposed to it.

“I’m not casting doubt on anybody or questioning anything, but we made a decision that we would not actively pursue any Penn State players,” said Bielema.

Purdue’s Danny Hope was asked the same question.

“NCAA has established the rules and the guidelines and, obviously because they’re strong from an ethics standpoint, and as long as we’re compliant, we’re going to exercise every opportunity we can to enhance our own football team,” Hope said.

But no Big Ten school has been as active as Illinois in its pursuit of Penn State players.

“We were in State College (on Wednesday) but not on campus,” said Illini coach Tim Beckman. “We called some players and they could come by if they wanted.”

Schools must notify Penn State’s compliance office if they intend to talk to Nittany Lions. But presumably, a coach doesn’t need to talk to Penn State coach Bill O’Brien about it. And O’Brien says he and Beckman haven’t spoken.

But O’Brien went so far as to say he had no idea which schools were interested in his players. He also says none of his players have told him of their intent to transfer, but he’s is ready to look to tomorrow.

“It’s time to move forward and turn the page,” O’Brien said. “I stand by the decisions that have been made by (our leaders).”

BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is on Twitter and Facebook, all of his work is at btn.com/tomdienhart, and you can subscribe to it all via his RSS feed. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below.

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