Penn State Varsity Coaches Issue Statements
Several Penn State varsity coaches from various sports teams have issued statements regarding the NCAA sanctions placed on the football program Monday. All of the statements are available on the team pages of the recently redesigned Penn State Athletics website and can also be viewed below:
Beth Alford Sullivan (Track and Field/Cross Country)
To all Penn State Track and Field Team Members, Alumni, Fans, and Friends-
The results of today’s NCAA sanctions on the Penn State football program and Penn State University have a significant impact on the university and athletic department. Although, these may be interpreted as harsh and severe, one must remember the issues that have brought us to this point. After lengthy departmental meetings today, I am confident in Penn State’s ability to turn the page and move forward. Support for our program of track and field and cross country will be maintained at the high level we know to keep us competitive within the Big Ten and NCAA. This was demonstrated to the coaches through President Emmert and the Penn State athletic and university leadership.
I am confident that in lieu of these penalties, positive change and great success will be achieved.
All of us must interpret and digest the events of the last eight months, but as a unit, we must choose to move forward in a positive and productive manner. I ask from each of you to stay the course and believe our best is yet to come. I have been and continue to be honored to serve at this fine institution and this amazing athletic department and this outstanding track and field/cross country program.
We Are … And We Will.
Josh Brandwene (Women’s Ice Hockey)
Yesterday, the NCAA levied sanctions against Penn State for a failure of leadership that occurred in the past. As the women’s hockey coach and a Penn State alumnus, my thoughts and prayers continue to be with the abuse victims and their families. Nothing can change the past, but I am confident of a better future, and I support the commitment the University has made to protect children.
Moving forward, I am also pleased that the Penn State administration has made a full and continuing commitment to support every Penn State varsity sport, including women’s hockey. At Penn State, we are one team.
Penn State remains a great university. Looking ahead, I am thrilled with the women’s hockey program we are building. The student-athletes who have committed to being a part of this new program are academic and athletic exemplars, and their character is something of which we can all be proud. I am grateful to have them as a part of the Penn State family.
Together we are committed to serving as community leaders and creating a world-class program built on the principles of respect, dignity, pride, and all-out effort. I’m counting the days until we get started!
Missy Doherty (Women’s Lacrosse)
Although these last few months have been extremely challenging, nothing really compares to the challenges that the victims of these crimes have endured. But with every challenge, there is a time for healing and moving forward, and we are going to do our best to move forward and continue to be a positive force in the community.
There is a tremendous tradition within the women’s lacrosse program, and we will continue to uphold those traditions. We will continue to have fantastic student-athletes compete at the highest level. We will continue to be extremely involved in the community and a positive influence on those around us. There is no place I would rather be coaching than at Penn State University.
We have been assured that the monetary toll on the University will not affect our ability to compete, recruit or perform with the best teams in the country. We are looking forward to continuing the fantastic program that we have here at Penn State, and making all Penn State Proud.
John Hargis (Swimming and Diving)
As we move forward, we can never forget the heinous crimes that were committed against our youth. We must pave the way to make sure we are committed to the safety and well-being of children everywhere and be the driving force for child protection.
With the unprecedented penalties levied against our university yesterday, we must come together as one now more than ever. The core values of Penn State University are still intact. We, as the swimming and diving program, will continue to strive for excellence both in the pool and the classroom. My staff will continue to build upon the strong traditions that have been laid before us. Success will continue to be achieved in all aspects of the lives of our student-athletes. These student-athletes will continue to be proud of who they are, what they stand for, and who they represent. We will continue to be extremely proud of them.
I ask that all alumni, fans, parents (past, present, and future), and friends of the program join our student-athletes and remain vigilant for this new chapter of Penn State Athletics. We will grow as one and become better as we move forward.
FOR THE GLORY OF OLD STATE!
Charlene Morett (Field Hockey)
Today our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of child abuse worldwide. While the NCAA has issued its sanctions upon Penn State, we will accept them humbly and move forward to upkeep the integrity and class as Penn State coaches and student-athletes. We need to remember wholeheartedly that we represent a GREAT university and it is now up to us to show the world that this greatness will continue in all aspects of our Penn State experience forever. We look forward to your continued support of Penn State University. The Penn State Field Hockey team, presently training for an exciting fall season and ready to report to preseason practice on August 7th, is grateful that “no current sponsored athletic team may be reduced or eliminated in order to fund…” the fine associated with the sanction. We will move forward and remain united together as Penn Staters!
Greg Nye (Men’s Golf)
The NCAA has spoken, and we, as an athletics department, have had a chance to meet and understand our direction. The NCAA has assured us that the sanctions put forth will not affect the funding of the Men’s Golf.
We are determined to unite and rally together with all Penn State varsity teams in order to further define the excellence that is Penn State. Our student athletes are the best in the country, and we are proud of their accomplishments on and off the field – and course. We appreciate all the heartfelt support we have received from, alumni, parents, friends, and peers at other institutions around the country.
Robin Petrini (Softball)
The past several months have been some of the most trying times our university and community have seen. Nothing will compare to the abuse that the victims have endured and our hope for healing will forever be with them.
We also have one of the most loyal fan bases in the world. For that we are eternally grateful. We understand the commitment that it takes to compete in the classroom and on the playing field. As we move forward, we remain steadfast in our commitment to our student-athletes and the future of our softball program. We have met with administrators and have been assured that neither softball, nor any other of our 30 varsity programs will be financially reduced or in any other way directly affected by the recent NCAA or Big Ten sanctions. Penn State is committed to providing an opportunity for us to be a nationally competitive program and will continue to provide the necessary support to achieve our goals.
We are forever Penn State proud. We will always respect our history, but it is time to define our future! I am proud to lead this program today, tomorrow, and in the years to come. We Are…and always will be…Penn State!
Russ Rose (Women’s Volleyball)
Yesterday, the NCAA issued sanctions to our Athletic Department and University that were unprecedented. We, as members of the Penn State community, will accept them and fight to continue our long-standing tradition of excellence on the court, in the classroom and in the community.
I want to assure our players, parents (past, present and future), fans, boosters, and friends of the program that no funding in the various programs will be reduced for any other sports program as a result of the sanctions and financial penalties levied by the NCAA.
Penn State Women’s Volleyball will continue to represent our world-class university in the fashion it has for decades. We will compete for championships, strive for excellence in the classroom and develop future leaders who care deeply about our university and community.
Denise St. Pierre (Women’s Golf)
The women’s golf program will continue to compete with Penn State Pride knowing that we carry the torch, no matter how heavy it may get, toward our goals of academic and athletic excellence. We ask that our many fans, alumni, and supporters stand tall with us and help us as we move forward. We come together with our entire athletic department as ‘one team’ that will work toward improving and carrying on the positive traditions that have always made us who WE ARE!
Jeff Thompson (Women’s Gymnastics)
We believe that it’s a great time to be a Penn State student-athlete because from this point forward, we can decide together where we will go and what we will become. With today’s historic signing of the unprecedented Consent Decree with the NCAA, Penn Staters everywhere can finally begin the process of moving onward from the horrors of the Sandusky case and into a brighter future which we will all build together. The darkest time in Penn State history is almost over, and we believe it will actually make us stronger in the long run. We will strive as a united family to rebuild a foundation of discipline and accountability, hard work and dedication, honor and integrity every day. We believe that, years from now, fans and foes alike will look back and see that today’s events were actually the beginning of what became our finest hour. Our athletic teams will fight on under the assurance from Penn State and the NCAA that no current athletic problems will be minimized or eliminated. We believe that, over the next several years, we will show the nation and the world that we are together, that we are one team and that — We Are . . . Penn State! We Are . . . and We Will . . . and we want you to be a part of it. God Bless and Go State!
Bob Warming (Men’s Soccer)
I have received communications of concern today from Penn State students, our proud soccer alumni, prospective student athletes, current players, close friends and fans wondering what will be happening with our men’s soccer program at Penn State, particularly as a result of the financial penalties imposed on the University today.
I want to assure everyone that it is an NCAA mandate that no program at Penn State shall be dropped and no funding shall be reduced for any other sports program as a result of the sanctions and financial penalties Penn State received today. Our program will be funded in scholarships and operating budget at least at the same level we are now for the next five years. It is not an option, it is part of the mandate of the NCAA that funding continue at the current level at a minimum. President Erickson, Board of Trustees Chairman (sic) Karen Peetz and acting athletic director Dave Joyner met with all head coaches today to reaffirm this commitment. All of the head coaches really appreciated them meeting with us face-to-face.
As coaches, we will continue to push forward in our mission of recruiting and developing exceptional student athletes at Penn State. As students, our team had a 3.24 GPA this past spring and as athletes, I think we have a great team ready to hit the field this fall. I have coached a lot of very good teams and I believe this one can be special. Our guys participate in community service, help others and have been great representatives of the University.
I guarantee you that the players on the team will be humble, hard working, play with respect for our opponents and do our best to make those that follow us Penn State Proud of our efforts. We will all learn valuable lessons from this tragedy and move forward as a University and athletic department. There are a fantastic group of bright coaches here at Penn State in all sports and some very committed athletes. We will all get through these days together.
Coquese Washington (Women’s Basketball)
Yesterday, the NCAA issued a series of sanctions to our athletic department and University. As members of the Penn State community, we will accept these sanctions and work diligently to continue our tradition of excellence on the court, in the classroom, and in the community.
While the sanctions were unprecedented in scope, rest assured that Lady Lion basketball (and all other sports at Penn State) will not suffer any reduction in support – financial or otherwise – as a result of the penalties levied by the NCAA. The Lady Lions will continue to represent our University, alums, fans and supporters in a way that they can be proud of. We will compete in the classroom and on the basketball court with grace, class and dignity.
As we begin to move forward and start the healing process, we will always remember the victims and families affected by these atrocities. Our thoughts and prayers are forever with them.
Jeff Zinn (Men’s Tennis)
Penn State, Intercollegiate Athletics and the Men’s Tennis program have accepted today’s sanctions from the NCAA. As we join the entire Penn State community in keeping the victims in our thoughts, the Men’s Tennis program plans to move forward and show the country what an amazing university and community we have here at Penn State. A portion of today’s rulings states `No current sponsored athletic team may be reduced or eliminated in order to fund this fine.’ This means the Olympic Sports here at Penn State are under sound financial parameters, exempt from being eliminated or decreased in anyway. The goals of our program have not changed and these sanctions do nothing to alter them: We will strive as a program to produce the best citizens, students and athletes that we can so that they can best serve society after they graduate as Nittany Lions.
To view statements issued Monday from acting Athletic Director David Joyner and head football coach Bill O’Brien, click here.