It’s a surreal time in Happy Valley:
In the 48 hours since the NCAA levied unprecedented sanctions against the program, an extraordinary recruiting frenzy has played out on Penn State’s campus, where players are working out. At noon Wednesday, several groups of coaches from opposing teams were waiting in the Lasch Football Building parking lot to recruit Penn State players.
“Our players are in our building right now and they don’t want to leave the building because there are coaches from other schools in the parking lot waiting to see them,” said (Penn State coach Bill) O’Brien, who spent the morning at ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., campus.
This seems obnoxious, at the very least. Is it kosher?
And who are these coaches?
As they boarded a plane Wednesday morning to go to Bristol, O’Brien and his colleagues walked past a group of six coaches carrying University of Illinois bags and suitcases. A Penn State official told ESPN.com that no words were exchanged between O’Brien and the Illinois contingent.
O’Brien declined to identify the players who have been offered up to 50 scholarships, but Illinois assistant athletic director Kent Brown acknowledged a group of Fighting Illini coaches are on Penn State’s campus to recruit “a player or two — maybe more.”
Illinois coaches carry Illinois bags and suitcases while traveling to poach other schools’ players?
To be fair, Illinois has a new coach and new staff after a seemingly difficult search and transition. They probably need a player or two.