The attrition has begun at Penn State in the wake of devastating penalties handed down to the program by the NCAA.
The NCAA has granted Nittany Lion players the ability to transfer anywhere in the country and remain eligible to play in the 2012 season. ESPN reported Thursday that the Big Ten also lifted all restrictions on players transferring within the conference.
Backup safety Tim Buckley was the first domino to fall by transferring to North Carolina State.
The crown jewel of the PSU cash grab undoubtedly was standout running back Silas Redd, who rushed for more than 1,200 yards in 2012. Redd was aggressively courted by Southern California and after visiting Los Angeles last weekend, the junior runner announced early this week that he was taking his talents to the West Coast to compete for a national championship.
As of Thursday, eight total Nittany Lions have announced their intentions to transfer away from State College, Pa. The remaining include: tight end Kevin Haplea to Florida State, linebacker Khairi Fortt to California, quarterback Rob Bolden (of Orchard Lake, Mich.,) to LSU, kicker Anthony Fera to Texas, defensive tackle Jamil Pollard to Rutgers and offensive lineman Ryan Nowicki to Illinois.
First-year head coach Bill O’Brien voiced his opinion on other coaches preying on his players to an ABC affiliate in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
“Hell no,” O’Brien said. “That’s not the right thing to do in my opinion. So I wouldn’t do that.”
From what other coaches around the Big Ten and the nation have said, there’s basically an honor system that staffs are either following or dismissing by actively pursuing Nittany Lions. It’s tough to say if O’Brien really wouldn’t be tempted to test the interest of players if the shoe was on the other foot.