Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti said Friday he knows of only two or three players who are planning to leave the Nittany Lions after the severe sanctions imposed earlier this week by the NCAA.
Speaking at Big Ten media day, the senior said the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal isn’t the players’ fault, but added it’s a situation they must deal with. One way he sees to do that is go out and play inspired football under first-year coach Bill O’Brien.
“We didn’t want to be in this position,” Mauti said. “At the same time we’re not going to let anybody tear this program apart.”
Mauti did not say specifically who he thought would leave. Asked about star tailback Silas Redd, Mauti says the two have talked and he hopes Redd will make the right decision.
“I spoke with him and his dad. I lived with Silas for a year and a half. Silas and I are very close and I talked to him,” Mauti said. “I just hope Silas makes the right decision for him and for the right reasons.”
Redd was a second-team All-Big Ten selection last year, when he ran for 1,241 yards in an offense without a star quarterback.
Mauti also made it clear that he didn’t appreciate the presence of Illinois coaches in State College this week, even though he acknowledged they were not breaking any rules by being there.
Penn State players, under the NCAA sanctions announced Monday, can transfer without sitting out a season.
“They weren’t hounding me personally. But I know for a fact they reached out to our players,” Mauti said.
“I don’t want to make this a feuding thing. But at the same time, if you’re from our conference and you’re going to try and steal our players and then wish us well, then I got a serious problem with that.”
MICHIGAN: Cornerback Terrence Talbott is leaving the team.
The school confirmed Talbott’s departure.
He played in only two games last season as a sophomore after appearing in all 13 games as a freshman.
Talbott had 15 tackles as a freshman. He played on special teams last season.
NORTH CAROLINA: A report by a special faculty committee at the university is calling for an independent commission of outside experts in higher education to review athletics and academics at the university.
The report, released Thursday, also states staffers in the school’s Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes referred players to classes in the Department of African and Afro-American Studies. In May, the university outlined fraud and poor oversight in 54 AFAM classes between 2007 and 2011, including classes that met irregularly if at all.
That included a class last summer with 18 current football players and one former player.