O'Brien reaffirms commitment to PSU

Exactly one year after he was formally introduced as Penn State's head football coach, Bill O'Brien once again addressed reporters to explain his decision to remain in that position, at least for the 2013 season.

O'Brien said he has "good relationships" with David Joyner and Rodney Erickson.

O'Brien also addressed plenty of rumors and speculation about the past week, during which he was in contact with multiple NFL teams about their head coaching vacancies, but said several times throughout the 40-minute news conference in Beaver Stadium that he enjoys coaching the Nittany Lions.

"It wasn't a decision to stay. No job was ever offered to me," he said. "I had a couple conversations and I decided I wanted to be the head coach at Penn State."

O'Brien said he did not ask Penn State for a raise and no offers -- including a reported $1.3 million donation from Terry Pegula -- were extended to him.

"No one at Penn State has ever come to me and said we're going to make a donation so that you can get a raise," he said. "That's never happened and that never will happen. If I was about money, more than likely, I probably wouldn't be sitting here right now."

O'Brien also talked about keeping his staff of assistant coaches intact.

"I think it's important for these guys to move up the ladder, and we've got some fantastic coaches on our staff that will have some chances to be coordinators or head coaches," he said. "You never want to hold those guys back. I think these guys are paid well. I think they can always be paid better. There's things we've talked about, ways we can do that. We'll do the best we can to try to make it attractive to coach here."

O'Brien said he has been in constant talks with athletic director David Joyner about ways to keep Penn State on "the cutting edge" as far as the structure of the program, specifically things like the strength and conditioning program, the amount of recruiting manpower and ways to market the program.

"The best football programs are always the ones that are thinking about ways to do things differently," O'Brien said. "We can't just sit and stay the same. We've got to be creative, think out of the box."

The coach also addressed his relationships with the two men he referred to as his "bosses" -- Joyner and Penn State president Rodney Erickson.

"I have a lot of confidence in our leaders -- Rod Erickson, Dave Joyner. I have good relationships with those two guys," O'Brien said. "Knowing the intelligence level and character and leadership characteristics of those guys, I'm in line behind them and I stand with them."

O'Brien said that he didn't receive "bad information" about what action the NCAA might be to take against Penn State when he was hired last January, only that "nobody really knew. I took somewhat of a leap of faith." He would not offer an opinion on Gov. Tom Corbett's lawsuit against the NCAA.

The Nittany Lions welcomed seven players to the team Sunday -- five scholarship players and two run-ons -- and O'Brien said he is excited about the players Penn State is in position to land on National Signing Day. He was also asked if news of his interviews with NFL teams had an adverse effect on Penn State's recruiting efforts.

"I've had very honest and open discussions in recruiting with all the families and prospects that we recruit and there's a lot of trust there," he said. "That's all I'll say about that."

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