UNVIERSITY PARK — Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien has started the process of keeping his 2012 roster together.
In his first interview since Monday's NCAA ruling, O'Brien told Bonnie Bernstein on the Dan Patrick Show that the transfer waiver will be one of the most difficult sanctions to cope with. The waiver allows players to transfer to another Division I school without sitting out a season.
"In my opinion, the one that's the hardest is that these kids can transfer without penalty," O'Brien said today. "But at the end of the day, this means we have to reiterate to our players over and over again what we are doing, why we came here, what this place is all about moving forward with me as the head football coach.
"I will tell you right now that my main goal is to keep this 2012 football team together and that's what I'm doing every day."
O'Brien declined to discuss whether junior running back Silas Redd or any other players are deciding to transfer. ESPN reported that USC is pursuing Redd, the Nittany Lions' top returning offensive player.
Other sanctions facing Penn State faces are a four-year postseason ban and scholarship reductions that will reduce the size of recruiting classes and rosters.
"When the NCAA handed down their sanctions, everybody knows that these kids can transfer without penalty and that other schools can contact these kids by emailing our compliance office and letting them know that they are going to contact them," O'Brien said. "I'm not going to get into any conversations with individual players. I will tell you we have been very proud of these players over the last two or three days.
"I know there are tough times they had to deal with over the last six, seven, eight months. They are talking to their families right now."
O'Brien said no members of his coaching staff are considering to leave.
"There's no question about that," he said.