O'Brien hopes sanctions can be reduced


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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- While not being specific on exactly what, if any, effort is underway toward petitioning the NCAA about the sanctions against Penn State, coach Bill O'Brien made it clear Friday he would like to see the sanctions lessened.

"I think we're in compliance," he said via teleconference, "and, hopefully, at some point in time the NCAA, the governing body of college athletics, can look at that and meet us halfway.

"I understand why the sanctions are in place ... but, at the same time, I want to do what's right for the program and I believe this program is headed in the right direction and behaving well."

He was mum about whether he was taking an active role in petitioning to have the sanctions reduced, saying to ask his bosses, athletic director Dave Joyner and university president Rodney Erickson. Joyner said the university wasn't planning anything.

"We're focused on dealing with those sanctions as they are right now," he said. "Whatever may or may not happen down the line."

The Centre Daily Times reported July 12 that O'Brien gave a presentation to Penn State's Board of Trustees in a private session. Among his topics was a slide titled "potential proposal to modify sanctions." He also showed one that read "Individual lawsuits do not help us!"

O'Brien said he was invited by the board to speak at the meeting.

"I don't have anything to hide," he said. "I just want to do what's right for the kids."

Trustee Keith Eckel called that presentation an "educational session." He said any official movement to have the sanctions reduced would have to be enacted by Erickson.

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Mark Dent: mdent@post-gazette.com, 412-439-3791 and Twitter @mdent05. First Published July 20, 2013 4:00 AM


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