Penn State coach Bill O’Brien has been blitzing the airwaves, appearing live Wednesday on “SportsCenter” from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn. But Penn State will bring zero players to Chicago for media days on Thursday and Friday.
And the Big Ten will do nothing about it, with a spokesman saying that only the head coach is required to attend.
The league’s other 11 schools will have three players apiece at the league’s signature media/fan event, where print and electronic reporters gather preview and feature material.
Penn State had been scheduled to bring tailback Silas Redd, defensive tackle Jordan Hill and guard John Urschel. But ESPN.com reported that they will not be in attendance. A Penn State spokesperson has yet to reply to an email seeking confirmation and an explanation.
In the wake of sanctions relating to the Jerry Sandusky/Joe Paterno child abuse sex scandal -- including a four-year postseason ban -- Penn State is fighting off other schools that want Nittany Lion players to transfer.
USC is reportedly courting Redd, and CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman tweeted that Arizona State is “pursuing” Penn State linebackers Ben Kline and Nyeem Wartman.
About two dozen Penn State players gathered on campus Wednesday morning to make a public pledge to remain at the school.
Said running back Michael Zordich: “We’re going to stick together through this. We’ll do everything we can for the university. We’re ready and willing to fight and stick together. We don’t see this as a punishment. We see this as an opportunity. We have the ability to fight for not just a team, not just a program but an entire university and ever man who wore the blue and white on the gridiron before us. We will make something very special happen in 2012.”
Said linebacker Michael Mauti: “This program was not built by one man, and this program sure as hell will not be torn down by one man. This program was built on every alumni, every player that came before us.”
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