Bill O’Brien set for new era at Penn State

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Asked how the looming uncertainties affected his decision-making, O'Brien said he had tough questions for school officials during his interview and received “very, very honest answers.” He declined to give specifics.

“I’m here now…. It’s my job as the head football coach at Penn State to have the best football program both and off the field,” said O’Brien, who, like Paterno, is a Brown graduate. O’Brien added he looked forward to meeting Paterno and stresed respect would be shown for JoePa’s accomplishments.

“Replacing a legend, I’ve heard it a lot in the past few days. I’m not here to be Joe Paterno. There’s only one Joe Paterno,” O'Brien said. “What I’m going to try to do is be Bill O'Brien, and we’re going to do the best we can to continue the success that he’s had here for many, many years.”

School President Rodney Erickson said the Nittany Lions were looking for someone who would “maintain the school’s commitment to excellence on the field and in the classroom. We have that leader in Coach O'Brien.”

was passed over for the position but wished O'Brien well. The longtime assistant, who interviewed for the job, remained on the staff as of Saturday though his future was uncertain.

“No matter the challenges that the university may face, Penn State will always have my support,” Bradley said. “This is forever my home and forever my family. It is important that we come together to support our players and our university.”

Not everyone, though, was willing to hop aboard the O’Brien bandwagon.

In column Saturday for the Washington Post, ex-NFL linebacker and Penn State standout LaVar Arrington said his initial postings on Twitter on Friday amid rumors of O'Brien’s hiring were too harsh.

At one point, Arrington wrote on the social media site, “I’m done all my PSU stuff will be down before obriens introduction! We are! No more for me!”

“This hiring represents the Board of [Trustees’] feeling toward all that has happened,” he wrote in the column. “In my opinion, the board has concluded that everyone and everything associated with the football team is guilty of a crime that we simply did not commit and that’s wrong.”

O'Brien addressed the rumblings in a letter he said he sent to former players.

“We respect the rights to one’s opinions, beliefs and contributions to Penn State,” he said, reading it at the briefing. “We respectfully request the opportunity to earn your trust through communication In time, we will find we have more common interests and goals than not.”…

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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