I have been an avid and involved Penn State football fan since 1973. I am writing you this letter because it has become apparent that there are many NFL teams, and probably college football teams, that may offer you money to break your contract with Penn State and leave.
For the sake of argument, it would be hard to fault you. You were blindsided by unprecedented NCAA sanctions designed to destroy Penn State's competitive edge for the foreseeable future. I am certain there were plenty of NCAA "experts" that assured you that Penn State was not facing any sanctions. Mr. Emmert, espousing a different philosophy than when he was LSU's president, has set the NCAA on a different course, and Penn State was the guinea pig. No one could fault you for arguing a change of circumstances based on what happened.
I am hoping, however, that you will not take the easy way out.
Penn State still sets the standard for academic excellence in college sports, whatever its former leaders may have managed to do to bring shame to Happy Valley. It needs a motivated and thick skinned leader like you to navigate the morass of the sanction years.
State College public schools offer more than most private schools, because most of the kids have professors for parents and won't put up with poor teachers, so your boys will be well educated and well taken care of. Centre County is still a safe and idyllic setting for you to raise a family. If you work late, would you feel safer with them in Centre County, or in some second rate florida city with a high crime rate?
If you stay, it is unlikely you will ever pay for your own meals unless you want to, such will be the undying gratitude of the massive legions of Penn Staters indebted to you. You may tire of the repetition, as you can only eat at the Tavern and the Penn Stater so many times, but you are a workaholic likely to be inside Lasch anyway.
Most importantly, you can make a difference, and you can establish a legacy no less great than your predecessor, whatever his tenure.
Joe Paterno never had to deal with the professional adversity you now face.
You turned McGloin into a quarterback, and led the Big Ten in offense despite losing your starting receiver and running back. Who would have thought that possible? You identified the strongest part of the team, and you kept those coaches. You kept your best recruiter. You have done everything the right way, and you have still done it the Penn State way.
I am sure you and your coaches and team have been made closer by the circumstances. I am sure i could not fathom how hard all of you worked to reach the heights you reached this season. But I am sure of one thing.
This university, this community, and most importantly, this team, needs you.
We wait for your answer.