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Penn State Players Not Leaving For Pitt, Other Places...For Now

Penn State may be keeping the majority of their players for 2012. That doesn't mean they'll all still be there for 2013. (Reid Compton-US PRESSWIRE)
Penn State may be keeping the majority of their players for 2012. That doesn't mean they'll all still be there for 2013. (Reid Compton-US PRESSWIRE)

In the aftermath of the NCAA sanctions, the Penn State campus has become the land of free agents. Many colleges have sent scouts to see if there is any interest between Penn State players and another school. It makes sense - no current Nittany Lion, outside of current freshmen who take a redshirt year, will participate in a bowl game or B1G championship game (and even those players probably won't see a bowl game after the ban is lifted). That is an easy selling point to a team, like Pitt, who is lacking in depth at various positions.

PSU coach Bill O'Brien has insisted that this team will stay together while the players have released a joint statement saying they vow to stick together.

"We want to let the nation know that we are proud of who we are, we're the true Penn Staters, we're going to stick together through this and do everything we can for the university," said Zordich. "We know it's not going to be easy, but we know what we're made of. We know there are going to be tough times ahead, but we're willing and able to fight and stick together to the end."

It's not that I don't believe them. I do somewhat, but it is now near the beginning of fall camp. To get up and relocate to another school after you've registered for classes, gone through off-season workouts, gotten living situations all set up for the current school year, and gotten to know your current teammates would be extremely difficult. With only a short amount of time until the season begins, it just doesn't make sense for Penn State players to try and get settled at a new campus right now.

However, what someone says now is not what exactly will happen in five months from now when the regular season is over. We as Pitt fans should know that better than anyone else.

We've seen it with several prospects who seemed like Pitt commits only to sign with other schools. We've seen it with coaches who say they'll be around for the long haul only to leave after one season (and I'm not just talking about Todd Graham). College athletics has become a world of broken promises. It is naive to think that every PSU player will stay in State College for four years.

It's highly unlikely that we will see any upperclassmen transfer. Either they are a senior and this will be their final season or they are a junior and they have one season left. There's hardly any reason for them to relocate this late in the game. But the underclassmen will be the ones to watch. They might get tired at the end of the season, knowing that even if they do well on the field, their efforts won't be rewarded with a postseason appearance.

Current Penn State LB Michael Mauti may not like it, but State College come next offseason will become a flea market with college coaches from around the country coming to get talented players for cheap with no missed year for transferring. As bad as this may sound, Pitt needs to stake their claim on players that can fill needs before other schools sign them.

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