Big Ten coaches talk PSU players

Penn State's players were a hot topic at Big Ten Media Days, as every opposing coach faced questions about the possibility of recruiting them to other schools in their own conference.

Bret Bielema, Wisconsin

"When this thing came about, and obviously a very unprecedented situation, of course when you're sitting at the head table of your staff room and assistant coaches have a lot of different opinions, I made the decision as a head coach we would not reach out to any Penn State players. It's just something -- I think that what Penn State is going through right now is something that they have championed over the last several days and the last several weeks. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Coach (Bill) O'Brien and everything that he's going forward."

Danny Hope, Purdue

"NCAA has established the rules and the guidelines and obviously because they're strong from an ethics standpoint, and as long as we're compliant, we're going to exercise every opportunity we can to enhance our own football team."

Urban Meyer, Ohio State

"I have a problem with (coaches being able to solicit players from Penn State). I have a problem with that.

"I don't know enough about it. I don't know enough about the rules. A player has a right to choose, especially by the rules, to go where he wants. To actively go get a player on another team, I'm not sure -- I really don't understand the rules. I didn't look into it. I'm not really sure of the rules with that. But as a player, a young man has a right to play wherever he wants to play. We have to keep that in mind. However, when he's part of a team, you're getting into a situation that I'm not quite very familiar with, and we're not going to get very familiar with it."

Tim Beckman, Illinois

"I just want everybody to understand -- and you can ask questions from there -- about the Penn State situation. We as a staff and me, myself, as the head football coach, talked about this. It was brought to our attention by two individuals prior to even any sanctions being granted by the NCAA that an opportunity might present itself for a transfer. We did not go onto their campus. We only talked to individuals that would be willing to meet with us. We did not go after them. They had the opportunity to come to us if they would like to come to us and speak to us. And that's how we handled the situation.

"We were in State College (yesterday), but we did not go on campus. We went to two establishments outside campus and called some individuals and if they wanted to come by, it was their opportunity to come by."

Kevin Wilson, Indiana

"If that kid wants to transfer, he'll contact you. I don't feel like contacting those guys. We're working on our program, our team. We have not studied tape or talked about guys to this date. We've talked only about getting ready for preseason next week. If someone's interested, and by rule, then I think that's a kid wanting to transfer and I've been taking that stance more than: Let's go recruit those guys."

Jerry Kill, Minnesota

"We're not going to do anything to go see players. We don't have enough time to do those kind of things. We've got to concentrate on our football team and our football program. And if a young man called us from Penn State or whatever, we'd do the proper procedures. But right now we've got enough problems and focus on what we need to do to become a football team and that's where our focus is."

Brady Hoke, Michigan

"To be honest with you, we kind of made a decision -- I'd be lying if I didn't say we didn't look at the roster to some degree -- but we've kind of made a decision that we're going to stay and recruit the guys and keep our business our business."

Bo Pelini, Nebraska

"We're not actively pursuing any Penn State players. We're concentrating on our football team, the guys on our program. And, now, that isn't to say that if there is a young man from Penn State who definitely wanted to transfer and was for sure going to leave and Nebraska was someplace that he was considering, that we wouldn't take a look at him to see if it made sense for our program. But there's a lot that goes into decisions like that, something like that. And you never say never, but that's not something that's really on our radar right now."

Mark Dantonio, Michigan State

"What we've tried to do is first acknowledge the situation. I don't think there's any winners when you speak to that entire situation.

"But at the same time, acknowledge that we have a program that we have to run and try and get better. And so what we have done is if people have contacted us, a coach, a parent, we've followed through. And that's the extent of it. And if there's people that are receptive to that and come back with us, I understand that. I'm here to create opportunities, but we're not going to invest in going beyond that.

"I would want to do this with respect to Penn State in any way that I can with integrity. But at the same time, we have a job to do, and we do have relationships with some players that have gone there because we recruited them at an earlier time."

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa

"The thing I would say about the whole situation, I think it's really complex right now and very confusing, quite frankly, just what the rules are.

"So I think first and foremost, everybody needs to be compliant. I think after that, it's a matter of people doing what they feel is appropriate. And that's what we try to do as much as possible. We'll try to continue to do the same moving forward."

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern

"I'm not going to speak for their circumstances, and I'm not sure about their programs and where they're at.

"From our standpoint, we met as a staff -- we actually watched the press conference as a staff. I've got a lot of young coaches on my staff. And I wanted them to watch President Emmert as he talked about the feelings of the NCAA, and I wanted to use it as an opportunity to educate and help our staff grow from the standpoint of the understanding and the expectations that we have professionally.

"Once that was over, we had a very short and brief discussion as a coaching staff that, number one, we're excited about our team, we're focused on our team, and no way, shape, or form are we going to pursue, contact, or reach out to Penn State University."


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