Penn State Football: Should Nittany Lions Worry Bill O'Brien Will Jump to NFL?

Hector Diaz@@iamhectordiazAnalyst INovember 17, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 27: Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Penn State Nittany Lions leads his team onto the field before playing the Ohio State Buckeyes at Beaver Stadium on October 27, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Despite having recent success after the Jerry Sandusky fallout, Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien may not stay at State College for long.

He may, in fact, leave college football and go back to the NFL, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

O’Brien was the New England Patriots offensive coordinator last season and may be considered for many vacant NFL head coaching positions at season's end.

Last year, O’Brien was one of the top candidates in Jacksonville but opted to become the Nittany Lions head coach instead.   

O’Brien has been told that he himself would not be punished for the actions that took place prior to his hiring. Despite that, the consequences of the Jerry Sandusky fallout will follow him throughout his time as Penn State coach.

The team is not eligible for postseason play for the next four years. The quality of players may also take a hit as the NCAA has taken 10 scholarships from the team in their first year.

Things only get worse from there. Chad Graff of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes that the number of scholarships will be decreased from 85 to 65 in 2014.  This would continue until the end of the 2017 season.

These punishments will make O’Brien’s job more difficult since more high players will opt to play elsewhere for the chance of getting a scholarship.

O’Brien has avoided answering any questions about his future at Penn State, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, which should worry Nittany Lions fans.

It is possible that his silence is only a way to postpone an announcement until after the season is over to avoid a distraction.

Ultimately the decision may come down to which head coaching position will allow for more success.

Penn State has a very low ceiling given the NCAA sanctions, which does not give O’Brien much incentive to stay for the next few years.

But if O’Brien chooses to the stay the course with the Nittany Lions until after the NCAA sanctions are over, then he may find immediate postseason success.

He has already proven that he is a great coach given his record and current situation. If O’Brien finds that his current head coaching duties limit his success, he can easily find an NFL to jump ship to.