If anyone was expected to be the first Penn State player to speak out publicly about and against the NCAA sanctions, outspoken senior quarterback Matt McGloin would have been the obvious pick.
McGloin posted a lengthy Twitter comment Tuesday afternoon indicating his dissatisfaction with the harsh penalties dealt to the program. His tweet:
"If I have learned anything from this game, it is: "tough times don't last, tough people do." This program has been through some hard times. I and many others, have stayed here out of love for this university; its academic programs, teammates, our wonderful fans and tremendous student body. We, as student-athletes, are being punished for going to class, graduating, being involved in the community and playing football.
"Even though these penalties are extremely harsh, I am a Nittany Lion and will remain one. I believe in the core values I have learned in this program. It is not Nittany Lion Football. It is Nittany Lion family. I encourage all players, recruits, and supporters to stay committed to the greatest football program in America.
"Scholarships and bowl games cannot destroy the fabric of our family. Coach O'Brien and his staff will lead us through this difficult time. All I ask is for the fans to continue to believe in us. WE ARE!"
SUBHD: O'Brien tidbits
Coach Bill O'Brien addressed a number of topics during a media conference call Tuesday and when interviewed by Bonnie Bernstein on "The Dan Patrick Show." Some of the notable items (note: all quotes from conference call unless otherwise indicated):
* The first-year coach has a five-year contract but won't be able to play in a bowl game for four years, so he was asked if he will have enough time to prove himself.
"I don't really worry about contracts too much," he said. "I just really concern myself about doing the best job that I can every single day. I'm committed to this football team. I told our players that.
"At the end of the day, I'm not out here just to prove myself. I'm out here to do the best job that I can for Penn State and for these kids that have played here and for this coaching staff. So that's what I try to do every day."
* Few, if any, college football players in history have dealt with more adversity than the members of the Penn State team. O'Brien has spoken to them about handling adversity and noted everything the players have been through has made them feel "really close to each other."
"I talked to them about my own adversity within my own family," O'Brien said, "what my wife and I went through when my oldest son was born and we found out that he was handicapped, that life is filled with adversity, and the way that you travel through life is how you handle adversity. That's how you're defined as a man."
* O'Brien believes he has assembled a great coaching staff, one that has significant NFL experience and can help develop pro players. That will be a key focus going forward in recruiting.
* O'Brien was asked on "The Dan Patrick Show" why he kept two holdovers from Joe Paterno's staff, defensive line coach Larry Johnson and linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden.
"After talking with the new leaders here at Penn State, [President] Rod Erickson and [athletic director] Dave Joyner, and then also talking to some of our players here at Penn State, that these were two guys that were held in high regard on this football staff and these were two guys that were excellent teachers, had a proven track record of recruiting. And I'm proud to have them on my staff," he said.
* Penn State will be limited to 65 scholarships from 2014-17, but O'Brien has experience dealing with smaller rosters after coaching in the NFL the past four years.
"The roster size in the NFL is 53 men, and it's 45 on gameday," he said. "So you're talking about having experience in how to put that roster together, learning from the best in Bill Belichick. You're talking about how to practice, learning from the best in Bill Belichick.
"So yeah, there's no question that my NFL experience, and [receivers coach] Stan Hixon's NFL experience and [running backs coach] Charles London's NFL experience is certainly going to help us with our roster."
* O'Brien didn't directly answer a question on "The Dan Patrick Show" about whether he agrees or disagrees with Joe Paterno's statue coming down.
"My job's pretty simple: I'm here to really talk to you about the football program," he said. "And I have three jobs: I have to educate young men on the football field and off the football field; I have to develop young men of character; and I've got to win football games.
"Now, what I'll say about the decisions that have been made over the past six or seven months, I support Rod Erickson, our president. I support Dave Joyner, our athletic director. They've had to make tough decisions, and these are good men, these are good leaders, and that's what I'll say about that."