Coach Speak: Big Ten Conference Call

League coaches reacted to the NCAA's announcement regarding Penn State Tuesday.

Moments after the NCAA announced it would gradually restore the scholarships it took from Penn State as a part of its sanction package handed down after the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Big Ten conference coaches took to the phone for their weekly teleconference.

Here are what some of them had to say on the subject:

• Tim Beckman, Illinois: "You gave me the information as you spoke. Again, the game of football is about student-athletes, and any time you give opportunities for student-athletes to play, I'm all for it. We coach this game for the student-athletes, and arrive every morning and leave every night with the student-athletes in mind. Any avenue we can create, I think that would be a good thing."

• Darrell Hazell, Purdue: "I just got word less than 45 minutes ago, so I haven't heard all the details. All coaches are in this business to help kids out, so any time you can help some people out, I think that's why we do this. I haven't heard all the details, but I'm happy for Penn State and that they are able to get themselves in a situation where they can help players out that had nothing to do with the tragic events in the past."

• Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: "Needless to say I think that whole thing was a bad deal and so hopefully some steps are being taken to make it a little more fair."

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern: "I can't speak for what it means for their program, and I'm sure Bill did a great job. I'm all for giving young people the opportunity to play this great game, and I'm happy for however many more student-athletes get opportunities and for the young people that go to Penn State. It will have a trickledown effect. I haven't read the release, but whether it's five more young people getting the opportunity to play college football, and for a young person go to another school, it will impact college football. That's positive. I'm not big fan of taking and reducing scholarship. It reduces opportunity, and I understand the rules and sanctions and reasons for them, but at the end of the day, the stipulation gives student-athletes the opportunity to play."


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