LionsPride2001: I think the selection of the next head coach for PSU is a watershed moment for the program -- they need to get it right. Any idea of what parameters the search team has for finding the right guy?
Ron Musselman: Well, Penn State hasn't hired a football coach for 46 years, so I would agree it is a big moment. Penn State needs to try and get the best guy possible, which could be tough due to the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal. As I reported earlier today, former Penn State All-American safety Darren Perry, a former Steelers player and coach and current safeties coach for the Packers, has expressed interest in the job. Interim coach Tom Bradley will interview next week. Other names being mentioned include Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, Boise State's Chris Petersen, TCU's Gary Patterson and Harvard's Tim Murphy.
Kevin: Any projections on who, or if, Penn State will play in a bowl game?
Ron Musselman: There have been rumblings that a few bowls might not invite Penn State because of the fallout from the Sandusky case. The bowl pairings will be announced Sunday and Penn State has been projected to land in the Gator Bowl, the Insight Bowl or the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. The Gator Bowl seems to be set on 6-6 Ohio State.
ToddJenkins: I see where Penn State is going to donate some of its bowl money to abuse victims, which is a good idea. What do you know about it?
Ron Musselman: Yeah, I just saw where Penn State plans to donate $1.5 million from its bowl proceeds to a pair of sex-crime advocacy organizations. I think it is a great move. The money will be taken from Penn State's share of Big Ten bowl revenue and will go to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
JoeMustGoPa: What is the status of Tom Bradley. Does he have a chance at the permanent coaching job?
Ron Musselman: Bradley has been the interim coach the past three games and will remain in that post through the bowl game. As I said earlier, he will interview next week. I like Tom but I think he has too much carryover from the Paterno-Sandusky regime to have a shot at the top job.
JennyJohns: Ron, how quickly do you think a new football coach will be in place?
Ron Musselman: As you probably know, the university assembled a six-person search committee this week to help pick a new coach. The panel is led by acting athletic director Dave Joyner. President Rodney Erickson said Wednesday night he hopes to have a new coach in place by the bowl game. Even so, Bradley and the current coaching staff will work through the bowl game.
NitrneyLionz: Do you think Penn State will be able to land a good coach, given all that is going on?
Ron Musselman: It was going to be hard enough replacing Joe Paterno before all the allegations against Sandusky cost him his job Nov. 9. Now, it gets a lot tougher. I do think there are decent candidates out there, but I am not sure how many really want to be the guy to follow Paterno, or jump into the mess that likely will drag on for years.
Pat_PSU: I saw your article earlier this week where some former players ripped the search committee's makeup? Were they right in doing so?
Ron Musselman: I think Lydell Mitchell and Charlie Pittman, two former Penn State All-American tailbacks, have a point. They were not happy with the makeup of the search committee chosen to help select a new coach. Pittman and Mitchell are African-American. The six-person search committee, led by acting athletic director Dave Joyner, has only one African-American -- Charmelle Green, an associate athletic director and senior woman administrator.
BlunWhtBlood: How important do you think it is to the selection committee that the new football coach be someone with no ties to the Paterno-era? How does their perception differ from that of public opinion, which seems to think that a complete clearing of coaches and staff is needed?
Ron Musselman: I think Penn State does need to clean house from top to bottom. I don't think they should totally distance myself from hiring a coach with Penn State ties – former players, etc. But I have a feeling that, given a choice, the search committee will settle on someone without a Penn State connection. It's just a gut feeling I have at this point after talking to many people around here the past few days.
Freddie: What have the football players been up to since the season ended with that ugly loss at Wisconsin?
Ron Musselman: Bradley gave the players the week off while some of the lame-duck coaches are out on the road recruiting. The players have been talking exams and lifting and just kind of healing up. The bowl game will be announced Sunday and the team will reconvene Monday to start making bowl preparations.
Kevin: You may have missed the last part of my question earlier, but who is Penn State expected to play in the bowl game?
Ron Musselman: We won't know for sure until Sunday. The Penn State people I talked to had not heard anything as of this morning. CBS Sports has the Lions playing Texas A&M in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. ESPN has them playing either Texas or Baylor in the Insight Bowl. We shall see.
JackieJones: Hey, Ron. Do you expect most of the assistant coaches at Penn State now to get other jobs?
Ron Musselman: Bradley will get another job, possibly in the NFL if he isn't hired here and I believe he is a long shot. Jay Paterno will get a job even if it's not in coaching because of his connections and his outside interests. I would expect most of the other assistant to land coaching jobs somewhere. I also would expect Galen Hall and Dick Anderson to retire.
PaulPSU: Ron, I think you have been doing a great job with all the football-related stuff. You have been way ahead of the curve. Do you think this scandal will hurt the football program for years?
Ron Musselman: Penn State's reputation has been damaged severely. It will really hurt the school in recruiting this year. The do believe the program can recover, but it's going to take a long time to do so.
Ron Musselman: Thanks for joining me for this postseason chat and thanks for the great questions.
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