Woof. Looks like Penn State has hired Bill O'Brien as the next football coach, making O'Brien the second hire in roughly six hundred years. Hyperbole aside, I've been all around the blogosphere today and I cannot find any positive reactions to the hire. This is troubling for Penn State's football future, both immediately and down the road.
Dave Joyner and the rest of the search committee down there had two choices:
- Appease the fan base and hire someone with ties to the Penn State program, like Tom Bradley
- Sever all ties with the past coaching staff and start anew
I'm not saying the situations are that similar or that the reason Rich Rodriguez didn't succeed was the lack of alumni support. But that couldn't have helped him, right? Anyone who slogged through Three and Out or followed the news at all since 2008 knows that Rodriguez wasn't exactly welcomed. That had to have some kind of impact, right? So the Penn State administration has basically done the same thing to their alumni network - and some influential alumni are already sounding off, abandoning their alma mater 24 hours after the hiring broke. Arrington has influence and a loud microphone to make his views apparent. More will follow.
- Go back to its roots, hiring a former Penn State coach or someone with ties to the program. Restoring tradition.
- Hire another outsider and risk the ire of its fanbase/LaVar Arrington again.
And Coach O'Brien, this is all you can do right now - please don't try any Josh Groban.