Bradley: Penn State-Nebraska game never in danger of being canceled
Penn State's football game Saturday against Nebraska was never in jeopardy of being canceled because of the ongoing scandal at the university, interim coach Tom Bradley said today.
"We never were informed of anything like that," Bradley said his weekly TribLive Radio appearance today.
And Bradley firmly believes the game, which has major implications in the Big Ten title race and is Senior Day at Penn State, should be played.
"The players deserve to have this game," Bradley said. "They came here for all the right reasons. They came to this institution to do things the right way, to be part of this program, to be part of the legacy that so many players left behind here, and to get a great education.
"This is their time. This is thing they've worked their tails off for, and it's the reason we should be playing this game."
Calling it an "unprecedented situation we find ourselves in," Bradley thinks the 8-1 Nittany Lions will be prepared to play against Nebraska.
"They are trying to focus, yet everywhere they go people want to talk about it and there are interviews. One place they've found a little solitude has been at practice. The distractions have been tough on them. ... I hope we can come together Saturday and play a good game."
The noon kickoff against the Cornhuskers will represent the first time since 1949 that Joe Paterno will not be on the sidelines or in the coaching box for the Nittany Lions. He was fired Wednesday night in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.
Bradley spoke with Paterno by phone Thursday, the first full day he represented the university as interim head coach.
"I knew the answer I would get," Bradley said. "I asked if I should stop over. He said, 'Tom, stay with the team, stay with the guys, do what you've got to do.'"
Bradley doesn't expect the rioting that occurred in State College on Wednesday night after Paterno's firing was announced to carry over to Beaver Stadium on Saturday.
"I expect Penn State fans to have class and show respect to our opponent," Bradley said. "I'm not naive enough to think our university won't be ready if something would occur. But I think our university and fans will show class. I'll be disappointed if they don't."