Penn State Coach Bill O'Brien's Kids Should Help Us Forget Sandusky

Bill O'BrienScore one for Penn State football! The university marked its biggest step in the march out of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal that's plagued its sports program since fall with the hiring of Bill O'Brien as the new football coach. The assistant for the New England Patriots is being touted as a big deal because he's from outside of a Nittany Lions "family" that once included Sandusky as a defensive coordinator. But the statement Penn State stands to make to the world by replacing Joe Paterno with O'Brien is even bigger than that.

Bill O'Brien isn't just a guy who has no history with Jerry Sandusky. At 42, he's a relatively young father. He's got kids, two of them. What's more, both of his kids are boys.


Are you thinking what I am? You couldn't have found a more sympathetic figure to the plight of Sandusky's alleged victims. His kids are the very sort the man is suspected of targeting as he led Penn State into one of the most disturbing scandals in the history of college sports.

Not to mention, as a former coach at a number of colleges -- including Brown, Georgia Tech, Maryland, and Duke -- O'Brien is obviously a guy who "gets" kids. He has an impeccable record of working with young guys fresh out of high school and helping them hone their skills on the field. As a recruiting coordinator at Georgia Tech, O'Brien was the guy parents, in particular, had to trust with the future of their children. And apparently they did.

I don't envy what the guy will now have to do at Penn State, trying to stop us rubberneckers from watching something so awful we are having a hard time looking away. He's going to have to remind the world that the kids of the Penn State football team deserve a break. Like him, they have no ties to Jerry Sandusky. They're just kids who want to play a game.

And it seems like they've got the perfect guy to help them do it -- a dad with two kids and a history of working with youngster, Bill O'Brien knows he needs to put the kids first.

Will you? Is this the move that will finally sever ties between Penn State and the Sandusky scandal in your mind?


Image via New England Patriots

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