Recruits Will Decide When New Coach Is Named
Columnists, Penn State fans, and Penn State haters are all a twitter (not the social media site) about the implosion of the Nittany Lions’ recruting for 2012.
Unfortunately, there is good reason to worry, as pointed out in this piece by Bob Flounders of the Harrisburg Patriot-News.
I think there is no doubt PSU will lose some more recruits, and how many others they will gain and of what quality remains a very open questions.
How much of a 2012 class the Lions can salvage rests more with the naming of a new coach and that coach’s staff than anything else.
Some recruits and some recruits’ parents will not want anything to do with Penn State in the aftermath of the child abuse debacle. Some may also worry whether NCAA sanctions may be coming down the road.
I think many, though, will wait to hear from the new coaching staff, see what they have done in the past, listen to what they plan to do with the program, and recruits and their parents will consider how they fit into that plan. Some may even (gasp) look at the academics, and there I think Penn State still does pretty well.
The facilities, strong fan and alumni base, Big Ten affiliation, and 107,000 seat stadium are still positives.
I think it’s likely the football program may fall a peg or two in the short term, as the university makes a concerted effort to place academics and–here’s hoping, anyway–a more open attitude more important than the annual number of wins on the gridiron.
But, there’s no denying the place football holds in the hearts of Nittany Nation, many of whom are big donors, and how important filling that stadium is to thousands of jobs in Centre County.
Let’s see who the new coach is, hope he and his staff can get a little extra out of some second tier recruits over the next few years, and hope for a restored luster to Mount Nittany sooner rather than later.