The previous post was inspired by my brother’s holiday recap of highlights in his life for 2013, in which he facetiously sent a blank page. While there have been developments in the Penn State coaching search, most of the “news” out there consists of rumors, innuendo, and flat-out fabrications.
A clue as to why that is the case can be gleaned from Russ Rose’s commentary in an article about his service on a prior search committee at Penn State. He said that agents are the culprits in planting stories about their clients to gain bargaining advantage. That’s part of it, no doubt. Another part is the gullibility of the audience involved and the great amplification factor of social media. Yeah, the twittiots give rumors a prolonged existence with a much greater half-life than ever before.
I, too, have been guilty of jumping on rumors. It’s all too easy to do. I’m going to try to stick to substantiated facts here, and if I choose to opine on something, I’m going to make it clear that it is my opinion and not fact.
Here’s where we stand, or at least where I think we stand.
First, on Al Golden, Miami athletic director Blake James said that he expects Golden to stay in Miami, for what that’s worth. It is thought that Golden was interviewed for the Penn State job yesterday, according to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, but he has been unresponsive to media probes. Golden, in my humble opinion, remains Numero Uno on the Penn State wish list.
James Franklin was to be interviewed today, and I believe this is still the plan. It makes sense for a few reasons. He couldn’t be interviewed any earlier than today because he had to prepare for a bowl game. He is also a minority candidate; interviewing at least one would be essential in a search conducted by a public university. However, I do not believe that this is just a token interview. They don’t have to go to Nashville to interview a minority candidate — they have Larry Johnson, to whom they owe at least a courtesy interview. Franklin is also a sought after coach, albeit a somewhat controversial one because of the rape incident involving his players, and was probably (in my opinion) Number Two on the Joyner committee’s list after Golden. However, Franklin might be NFL minded or at least testing the water there, having interviewed with the Houston Texans, according to Adam Schefter, and having been contacted by the Cleveland Browns and the Washington Redskins. I think that the NFL minority initiative would require minority candidates to be interviewed, so this doesn’t necessarily indicate serious interest on either side.
Mike Munchak has been an on-again, off again potential candidate. On Friday, it was likely that he would be retained by the NFL Tennessee Titans, but on Saturday he was fired. He apparently balked at the proposed terms under which he could stay with the Titans. Now, Penn State will interview Munchak today for the head coaching job, according to Chris Mortensen, which makes sense because the committee would be in Nashville, anyway, to interview Franklin. Munchak is presumably (and temporally) Number Three on their list.
And then, there are the rest. As I mentioned above, I expect Larry Johnson to be given a courtesy interview, but not to be hired. That’s my opinion. And what of Greg Schiano? Haven’t heard bupkis about him. Jim Caldwell interviewed for the Detroit Lions head coaching job on Friday, according to Ian Rapoport.
One final, unrelated O’Brien update. According to a “source” Penn State director of player development Jim Bernhardt will join the Houston Texans staff.
In the words of my elementary school principal, the evil Miss Patterson, “That is all. Thank you.”