CHICAGO — Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien didn’t say much, but his message at Big Ten Media Days was crystal clear.
His voice was stern, his responses—particularly regarding the topic of potential player transfers and other coaches recruiting his players—were brief, but they also said much about his mindset.
“Get on board.”
It’s a phrase that O’Brien has used in the past few days, and he reiterated that position once again. He called on players, alumni and others affiliated with the school to move forward and look ahead to the season around the corner.
Although O’Brien turned the focus towards the future every chance he got, the questions regarding the current state of his roster poured in. When asked if he knew that status of star running back Silas Redd, Bill O’Brien simply responded, “No,” and moved on to the next question.
He was then asked about how he felt in regards to other coaches recruiting his players.
“I have no idea what schools were on campus nor do I care,” O’Brien said. “And that’s about all I have to say about that.”
O’Brien used the word “adversity” throughout his 15 minutes at the podium, and when pressed about how leadership at the school has handled over the past eight months, he passed along overwhelming support.
Put in a nearly impossible situation, O’Brien was impressive. His attitude of looking forward isn’t shocking given his position, but the focus on things he can control was the message he delivered.
“The sanctions are what they are,” O’Brien said. “It’s time to get up and get going.”