Members of the Penn State football team released a statement Wednesday stating their unity and support for the university:
“This team is sticking together. We aren’t going anywhere. And we could not be more proud to be Penn Staters now. We look at this as a great opportunity to have the ability to bring back not only a team but an entire university.
This team has taken on more adversity than any team has faced in history which is a testament to our commitment to our team’s character, our fans, and our university. One man didn’t build this program and one man sure as hell cannot tear it down. This program was built on the backs of the thousands of great men who put on the Penn State uniform. Today it is no different.
No sanction or politician can tear this team apart. No one can take away what this university means to us. We will stick together and create our own legacy. Our loyalty lies only with our teammates, coaches, fans and families. No one else.
It’s not going to be easy but we know that we have acquired the strength that we have overcome and we will embrace our anger and burn it as fuel this season.
We can’t wait for September 1 and to be back in Beaver Stadium and playing for Penn State in front of the best fans in the nation. We ask everyone to come out, show the support, wear your colors proudly and show that adversity makes the Penn State nation tougher and stronger.”
Despite the statement from the players, the university announced that the three PSU players scheduled to attend Big Ten media days in Chicago on Thursday and Friday will no longer make the trip.
Standout running back Silas Redd, who ran for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns last season was one of the three players slotted to be there along with defensive tackle Jordan Hill and offensive lineman John Urschel.
Only head coach Bill O’Brien will be present in Chicago to represent the team.
As a result of the penalties handed down to the program Monday, PSU players are allowed to transfer anywhere in the country and will remain eligible to play in 2012.
Under normal NCAA rules, players are required to sit out a year if they transfer to another Football Bowl Subdivision school. The ripple effect is already being felt around the program as coaches from across the country have descended upon State College, Pa., like vultures trying to lure players to switch jerseys.
Multiple reports have confirmed that Redd is being pursued heavily by Southern California, and head coach Lane Kiffin repeatedly stressed the Trojans’ need for depth in the offensive backfield during Pac-12 media days.
The Nittany Lions lost their commitment from class of 2013 four-star corner back recruit Ross Douglas on Tuesday, who switched his allegiance to Michigan. Time will tell if Ross, from Avon, Oh., will be the first of a string of PSU recruits to re-open their recruitment or if many will stand by their commitments.
One prospect to watch is Fork Union Military Academy quarterback Christian Hackenberg, the gem of the Nittany Lions’ 2013 recruiting class. Hackenberg, a four-star prospect according to Rivals.com, is listed as the seventh-best pro-style quarterback in the country and also had offers from Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Tennesee among others.