Silas Redd is off at USC now, and for Redd that means a brand-new start, brand-new team, brand-new conference, reporters, lifestyle, everything. It's pretty hard to just divorce yourself from a football program just like that, but there Redd is, having to do exactly that.
The first day of practice has since gone in the books for Redd, and after that, reporters understandably wanted to hear from him. What ensued wasn't necessarily Redd doing anything wrong, but it was enough to make things sting even that little bit more back in Happy Valley.
New USC tailback Silas Redd comfortably blended into the Trojans' first practice Monday and said he "made a business decision" when he transferred from Penn State last week.
"It was either Penn State or here," Redd said. "I wasn't going to go anywhere else. This is my new family now. We're all going to get a fair shot and we're competing for the No. 1 (tailback) spot."
The business comment might rub some people the wrong way—you'll probably hear things like "I thought these kids were supposed to be amateurs," "I remember the good old days when athletes didn't talk like that" or "where are this kid's priorities?"—but football coaches and collegiate sports make "business decisions" that don't positively affect these kids every day, so if Redd wants to be on the right side of that transaction, more power to him.
No, the real kick to the teeth for Penn State fans is (or at least should be) the second comment: that USC is Redd's "new family."
Leaving for USC on a "business decision" is one thing. Putting business over family, though? Doesn't really look great. If Penn State fans and players weren't feeling betrayed before, they kind of have a decent case now.
Now, in Redd's defense: poor word choices happen a lot, and they happen to people who are much more skilled at communication than an average 20-year-old.
It's also worth noting that he refused to discuss Penn State itself, which is an inherently respectful decision to make. We're not suggesting Redd set out to upset PSU fans, either; it's just that his view of the situation isn't going to make them happy.
And at the end of the day, whether Redd cares about how well his comments are received in Happy Valley is up to him, and if it's something he doesn't want to concern himself with, honestly, more power to him.
He has a new program (and a new family, as he said) to focus his time and energy on, and he's not interested in openly bad-mouthing Penn State, so that's just going to have to be that.
As for Penn State fans who think this whole thing sucks: yeah, it does. There's no way around it. That's the new normal for your program.