The head football coaching positions are expected to be open at the end of the season at Ohio State and Penn State.
Luke Fickell has done a decent job replacing Jim Tressel, but really hurt his cause by losing last week to Purdue. Joe Paterno was just fired for his role into former defensive coordinator and alleged child rapist Jerry Sandusky. His replacement, Tom Bradley, realistically doesn’t have a chance in hell at keeping his job past this season.
So which school is more appealing to a prospective coach?
It has to be Ohio State, especially after the NCAA announced on Friday that it would be looking into lack of institutional control at Penn State over the sexual abuse scandal.
The Buckeyes may be on probation for the next two years, have less scholarships to work with and more penalties could follow after the NCAA hit the school with “failure to monitor” its football program, but that does not even compare with what has happened at Penn State or what will happen.
The university will have an enormous amount of legal trouble to wade through regardless of whom gets charged with what, and it will continue to be in the focal point of national news as well as college football for all the wrong reasons.
Five-star recruit Noah Spence has already expressed doubt about playing for the Nittany Lions, and 4-star recruit Joey O'Connor has de-committed. Many more could drop out if the allegations are true and/or the NCAA puts the school on probation and takes away scholarships or the postseason.
And the unfortunate issue of money could also come up. If Penn State has to give out millions of dollars to the families of the victims, they may not have anything left to get a coach willing and capable enough to handle all of these challenges.
Plenty of schools have dealt with being on probation, and it has not killed their programs. What’s going on at State College could cripple an athletics department and possibly the entire university.
Without a doubt, Ohio State is the better job to take right now.