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Thread: The Ever-Changing Penn State Coaching Search. Or is it?...

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    The Ever-Changing Penn State Coaching Search. Or is it?...

    Let me start by saying this is meant as a football only thread regarding the most fascinating coaching search in human history (or close to it, anyway). Has anyone else been following this?

    For nearly 2 months, PSU has been searching for a head coach. Here are my thoughts, in order of certainty.

    100%- PSU has been completely messing with the media. They (the media) know absolutely nothing, and I laugh every time a new name is mentioned. Tom Clements! Uh-huh. Bill O'Brien! Sure.

    95%- I am this sure they already have the guy pegged, have had him pegged for weeks, and I'm equally certain we have still not heard the actual name of the new coach. He's not been "hired" yet, but that's more a technicality. I do not believe they've waivered throughout the entire process. This is remarkable considering today's age.

    Sidebar- There is a guy who is confirmed to work for PSU, a lawyer who is involved in contract negotiations. He is currently leaking all of the info that he can, although no names are being mentioned per a confidentiality agreement everyone has signed. He said he has drawn up 4 different contracts. There is a Plan A and a Plan B. Plan A is a big name, is a very known commodity, and is not an assistant. He labeled that person as 85% certain to be a done deal. They did not want to do anything prior to the conclusion of that coaches bowl game, or PSU's bowl game. The coach is sold, but the family has some reservations which the committee is now working to eliminate them. His belief is that everything is ago for that coach to accept. Their plan B is fully aware that he is the plan B and is ok with that. He is a bigger risk, and has more "unknowns" about him. They were reworking his contract this morning, but he seems to be all in if plan A happens to back out. He made it clear that they have had zero trouble finding people interested in the job, and that if it weren't for the confidentiality agreement, he would have leaked the name to the media weeks ago. (FWIW, this lawyer also said he liked how Chris Petersen lied to Boise about PSU's interest to get a bigger deal from them)

    Plan B very well could be Tom Clements, Bill O'Brien, or Greg Roman, but I'd be surprised if any of those three are the actual fall back. PSU is willing to commit $5 million per into the new football coach, and supposedly Nike is willing to supply even more if needed, with the highest total number being $8 million, which is 2.8 more than the current highest paid coach. I actually think Mike Munchak is still in play as Plan B, and Jon Gruden is also a possibility, although it's tough to see him accepting a Plan B label.

    Considering the risk of losing millions of dollars in revenue per year if the program falls off with a "project", and the money that's been endowed by a donor (possibly Ira Lubert, an uber-successful businessman who has played an equal role to AD Dave Joyner in the search), I'm convinced it's a big name, and one that has yet to be mentioned in connection with the program.

    85%- Timing will help in deciphering who the coach is more than someone leaking a name. A meeting has been scheduled with all staff, as well as a meeting with players only for Friday. Nothing will come out prior to then. If they announce it prior to the end of this week, as I said in the chat, I'm 85% certain it's Mark Richt. Wxwax is in Georgia country and disputed this, but I'll stick by my thoughts. Another small, out there possibility is Bob Stoops, and while I don't see that as being likely, I am that convinced it's a big time, off the radar hire.

    33%- If the announcement bleeds over to next week, then some other more interesting names come into play. If they decide to wait until after the national championship, then I think it's an even fight between who the next guy is. It would be possible Richt is still mulling it over, but I'll take the gigantic limb and say that Nick Saban or Les Miles are suddenly in play.

    For Saban, his dad was great friends with Paterno, he grew up going to games in Happy Valley, and has stated in the past that PSU would be his dream job. The money is there, as Nike is willing to cough up $3 million in addition to the $5 million the school can offer. I've seen his possible deal at 6 years $48 million, making him the highest paid college coach by 60%. Saban is driven to challenges, and if he wins a 2nd at Alabama, this challenge, coupled with the fact that he could be the only coach to say he patrolled the sidelines of both Bear and JoePa means that it actually may make some sense.

    With Les Miles, it makes less sense on the outside because he turned down his alma mater to stay at LSU. But that Michigan courtship was weird from the get go. Miles relationship with Lloyd Carr had soured, as with most of that staff he worked with under Gary Moeller because he supposedly slept with Moeller's wife (not sure if rumor or confirmed, but that's the story). So there's a thought UM kept his name to appease their fans, even though they were never going to hire him. There's a thought they intentionally leaked his name prior to LSU's previous nat title game to irk him and force him to back off. I'm just saying it's possible he'd like to head back north, compete with Meyer, and stick it to Michigan.

    5%- PSU has no idea who they want, and no one wants the job. I personally think this is closer to .1 percent, but I'll cover my bases.


    So there it is. With all of the misinformation that's been spewed, I figured I'd share what I know. I fully expect to get ripped for this, but I'm just piecing the info together. It's been so long, at this point it makes infinitely more sense for it to be a big name, as I suspect, than for it to be a random NFL coordinator with little to no college experience. If I'm wrong, so be it, but I don't think I am, and I'm willing to post this for all to see, and then rip me for months afterward. Either way, it's really been interesting how the media has been completely toyed with, and how remarkably silent PSU's been able to keep everything.
    "I'd knock your brains out, then pick them up later."

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    Well, uh... there isn't really any way to interrogate this as you've indicated basically everything is off the radar. It's basically a tornado of rumors and hearsay.

    I'll just say I would be shocked if any of those big names--Stoops, Saban, Miles, even Richt--end up at Penn State. Hope you and your family had a nice holiday season.
    Last edited by mkocs6; 01-04-2012 at 10:48 PM.
    @kocsan

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    Ummm... Penn State is going to have to triple the salary of any good coach. The job is toxic right now, and IMO, they'd be lucky to hook a "winner" like Eric mangini.

    remember, there may be some hellacious sanctions coming. This job won't be desirable for at least 5 years.
    “I’ve always been a big fan of Norv Turner. I think he gets it. I think he does an outstanding job.” — Pat Shurmur

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkocs6 View Post
    Well, uh... there isn't really any way to interrogate this as you've indicated basically everything is off the radar. It's basically a tornado of rumors and hearsay.

    I'll just say I would be shocked if any of those big names--Stoops, Saban, Miles, even Richt--end up at Penn State. Hope you and your family had a nice holiday season.
    True, everything's been a tornado of heresay and rumors, including all info given to "insiders" like Schefter, LaCanfora, etc, which is what's been fascinating. 2 months of this, and still nothing but speculation. My basic point is that I'm convinced it is a big name, possibly huge, that it's basically a done deal, has been for a while, and that none of the national media has even sniffed the actual name that it will end up being.

    Thanks, we did, and I hope you and yours also had a wonderful holiday season.
    "I'd knock your brains out, then pick them up later."

    -Marion Motley

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
    Ummm... Penn State is going to have to triple the salary of any good coach. The job is toxic right now, and IMO, they'd be lucky to hook a "winner" like Eric mangini.

    remember, there may be some hellacious sanctions coming. This job won't be desirable for at least 5 years.
    We'll see...
    "I'd knock your brains out, then pick them up later."

    -Marion Motley

  6. Trumpet,

    Very well written post! I enjoyed reading it and actually have had the same feelings. AD Joyner has had an arrogance to him the last few weeks (which i know doesn't mean anything...necessarily) but I don't think he would have this much and appear as relaxed as he does if they didn't already have some one in play. After the PSU's bowl game, you could tell Bradley knew it was the end. There was a lot of emotion in his eyes and I just got this feeling he knew....not exactly who, just that it wasn't him. I am not biting on any of the NFL names...other than Greg Roman. If you look as his interviews the last couple days, he is interested, but "waiting to see what happens." I think, personally, he is the Plan B you referred to.

    Everyone shot Mark Richt down by mid to late december saying there was a contract extension. There has yet to be a contract extension for Mark Richt. There is only one reason to wait this long to name a coach. They are still playing (or just recently finished playing). I heard on the radio about the players only team meeting on friday. My gut (whatever that's worth) told me they are going to tell them one of two things..."you're new coach is....insert name" or "we have the guy, and you will know his name after monday".

    This is all just my feelings, as i have found myself daily trying to keep up with the abundance of names that the media continues to throw out there.

    A lot of people, just people, are saying this job is toxic. It really isn't. If you were the coach going into this situation, what is toxic for you? If you have the name, recruiting will take off. No one is going to hassel you about the scandal...and if they do, you, for once, can honestly answer is manner like this..."Sorry, that was all before i arrived here and neither me or my staff have anything to do with it. I have no knowledge of what happened, nor do i intend to." And all the while, because of the scandal, the pressure will be lessened, slightly. To boot, the school is in need of a big name, so the ball, in terms of contract negotiations, is more in your court than theirs.

    In regards to big time sanctions, you, as well as i know, (or at least you should) that the NCAA is in no position to hand down sanctions. There are no NCAA rule violations. I agree that what happened is awful and needs to be dealt with, and it worse than NCAA rule violations. But facts are facts, the NCAA won't be able to find grounds to place sanctions on PSU. This is a judicial system matter, and as much as the NCAA likes to think it runs the show, this is one area they have no input on. You mean to tell me you haven't noticed the fact that, aside from saying they were looking into whether or not any NCAA rules were violated, that you haven't heard a word about this from the NCAA.

    I would to end this by asking one thing of everyone...There are virtually no schools out there that haven't had something to deal with. PSU has been somewhat clean over the years, and this is awful. Not so much for the school, but most for the kids this involved. Yes, PSU will never be able to say this didn't happen, but remember one thing, it was a very small number of people at the university that failed to do their duty...not so much legally, but more so morally. Also, this doesn't involve the players present an past. So to try and ruin their futures, is wrong on those that speak this nonsense parts as well.

    I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed new year!

  7. #7
    I have put exactly zero stock in any report claiming knowledge of the PSU coaching position for all the reasons enumerated here.

    I was initially in camp with Pruitt and all the rest who believe PSU will be a toxic environment for a long time. But then my cynical side woke up and reminded me just how strong a foundation has been built at State College. Recruiting will be difficult at first and NCAA sanctions will be particularly daunting. But Pennsylvania is still a hotbed for HS football talent that is loaded with PSU fans & alumni who I believe will circle the wagons in the interest of rebuilding - and quickly - the image of their school.
    Screw you guys, I'm going home.

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    No-one wants the job.

    It ain't Richt. I will bet cold, hard cash on that. It ain't Miles or Saban, either. They are set-up and rolling at their schools. The fact that anyone would even think they might be candidates looks like a continuation of the self-delusion in Happy Valley. That place is nuts.

    Out of all of this, one thing comes in loud and clear.

    Penn State University is still in love with secrecy. It hasn't learned a damn thing from what's happened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoBigOrGoHome View Post
    But Pennsylvania is still a hotbed for HS football talent that is loaded with PSU fans & alumni who I believe will circle the wagons in the interest of rebuilding - and quickly - the image of their school.
    Where's that talent been the last decade?

    Penn State has sucked more often than not, and that was with St. Joe running the joint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuss240 View Post
    Yes, PSU will never be able to say this didn't happen, but remember one thing, it was a very small number of people at the university that failed to do their duty...not so much legally, but more so morally.
    Did you read the local newspaper's account of the secrecy that continues to surround the school? Of the broken promises about transparency? That the people running things now are part of the same old cabal?

    It wasn't a few bad apples. It was institutional culture. It still is. Penn State hasn't changed.

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