If LaVar Arrington had a say in Penn State’s search for its next head coach, he believes it should be someone with ties to the university following the departure of Bill O’Brien.
“Again, I said it before, you go outside of what we are and now the reality is, what we feared now has come to pass which is Bill O’Brien, for as much as he did for this team during a very turbulent time, I think people got to understand that Penn State, Penn State football is much more than football. Penn State is community, and in order to make that a reality I just think you got to have someone who understands it. Otherwise now we become a destination institution for coaches to get bigger jobs and leave. And now we are no different than anyone else,” Arrington told 247Sports Luke Stampini following Wednesday’s practice.
Arrington, who is a linebackers coach this week during the Under Armour All-America Game, said he doesn’t have an issue with O’Brien leaving for the Texans and wishes him the best - but he does have an issue with those at Penn State who hired him.
“People made it like I had an issue with Bill O’Brien. I never had an issue with Bill O’Brien, but I had an issue with - and I still have an issue with - some of the people being in place,” Arrington said. “I have an issue with Joyner being the athletic director. I have an issue with some of the Board of Trustees. I have an issue with that because for whatever reason, they felt, they needed to do something that went away from what we are.
"I think now they have an opportunity to make a wrong right by bringing in a Penn Stater. Bring in somebody who understands us. The fact that that man (Jerry Sandusky) messed up the way that he did does not mean that that’s an indictment on who we are and what we are.
“Bring in a Penn Stater and we’ll have that ability to build and grow from there.”
Asked if he voices these concerns to leaders at Penn State, Arrington said he doesn’t because it’s a waste of time.
"Watching those young men that were there and had to endure that like the Matuis and the Hodges and Morris and all of those guys that stuck and Zordichs that stuck in there. To me, that was what started the healing process and you had a coach that was able to be a part of that.
"If that’s not enough to keep you around, I don’t think anything is enough to keep you around. But I think a real Penn Stater would have took that job and would have went through that process with a different state of mind.
"I think O’Brien’s state of mind was to go pro all along, and I think they knew that when they hired him. To me that doesn’t seem to compute with what Penn State is. For that to be the thought process, I hope they learned a valuable lesson. .. I’m not a decision maker at Penn State, but I love Penn State. I believe in Penn State and so don’t just bring anybody in there.