Penn State notebook: School not counting on Corbett's lawsuit to change sanctions
UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State is proceeding as if it will serve the entire sentence that the NCAA imposed on the school last July when it sanctioned the football program.
Coach Bill O'Brien and acting athletic director Dave Joyner declined comment on the lawsuit Gov. Tom Corbett has filed in trying to overturn punishment that includes a four-year ban on postseason play and a significant loss of scholarships.
Asked if there is a chance of the sanctions getting reduced or eliminated, Joyner said: “Who knows? The NCAA has said this is the way it is, and we're going to live under that box. We're not going to plan our lives over anything changing.”
A Penn State watchdog group that has been critical of the Board of Trustees and president Rodney Erickson called for new leadership of the school's athletic department while also lauding O'Brien.
“(O'Brien) has, in 12 months, exhibited far more leadership than the supposed leaders of our University,” Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship said Monday in a statement. “And as for the direction of the University's athletic programs as we enter 2013, we eagerly await the hiring of a qualified, permanent athletic director.”
Tight end Kyle Carter, Penn State's second-leading receiver last season and a first-team all-Big Ten pick, may not be healthy enough to take part in spring practice, O'Brien said. Carter, who injured his right wrist in a Nov. 10 game at Nebraska, is still wearing a cast.
O'Brien said he is pleased with the progress Carter has made, but Penn State will be cautious with the rising redshirt sophomore.
Belton to stay at RB
Bill Belton's future apparently is still at running back despite losing his starting job last season to Zach Zwinak.
O'Brien said there are no plans to move the rising junior to another position even though Zwinak emerged as the No. 1 back after rushing for 1,000 yards. O'Brien said he and his staff will look at ways to better take advantage of the versatile Belton's skills.
“You can tell that (Belton) went home over Christmas, and he really worked,” said O'Brien, who met with the players Monday at 7 a.m.
O'Brien said reserve running back Curtis Dukes has left the team.