PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — Ahead of his first game as head football coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, Tom Bradley says he is ready to put aside the controversy this past week has brought and focus on football.
Penn State’s interim head coach spoke exclusively to The Fan Morning Show Friday about how the team is coping with the child sexual abuse scandal that continues to rock the university and how they are preparing for Nebraska.
First and foremost, Bradley says he and team are offering their prayers to the victims and their families.
“The whole week, to be honest with you, has been extremely difficult for all of us in the program; and obviously, it’s an unprecedented situation that we find ourselves in,” he said. “As we try to move forward here, you know, you sit there and your heart and your prayers go out to the children and the families. They are first and foremost on our minds as we try to regroup, and yet you’ve been asked to do a job by the Board of Trustees and the acting university president, so you’ve got to keep moving forward here.”
On Saturday, Penn State and Nebraska will face off. It will be the last home game of the season for the Nittany Lions.
As they prepare, Bradley says plenty of former players have reached out to the team to offer their support. He added that many will be at the game.
Listen to the full interview here:
Meanwhile, the coach says he will be focused on the game and is expecting the same from his players.
“I have to focus and do the best job I can do for this football team. I’m expecting that of them, they’re expecting that of me, and I’m going to try and do that,” he added.
Bradley says he also talked with former head coach Joe Paterno. The university’s Board of Trustees dismissed the legendary coach late Wednesday.
“I talked to coach [Thursday] and I got the response I expected. I called him, and obviously a couple things were things that I had to ask him about that I’m not quite sure what was done before, and we had a conversation. A lot of it was personal in nature,” said Bradley.
“I knew when I asked him, I said, ‘Coach, I’d like to come over,’” he added. “And he said, ‘You’ve got things to do. You better stay there and get your work done.’ I knew that’s the response I’d get from him, all about the team.”
Another familiar face that won’t be at the game this weekend is Mike McQueary, the receivers coach who allegedly witnessed retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulting a young boy in a shower in 2002.
In a statement, the university said “multiple threats” have been made against McQueary.
“I did not see them,” Bradley said. “Obviously, I had heard from the administration and from other people that he had gotten threats and obviously it was of great concern for him and his family.”
On a personal note, when asked whether he’ll be able to enjoy head coaching under the difficult circumstances, Bradley said “I’m not sure I will be able to.”
“I think you can tell there’s a lot of emotions in me right now. They’re very difficult maybe to explain to other people. It’s a difficult time. I’m very emotional and it’s a time when I’ve got to make sure that there’s a lot of things taken care of that are unexpectedly popping up all the time,” Bradley said. “Like I said, these are unprecedented times, these are uncharted waters and so I don’t have a real blueprint to go by.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Chaos On Campus After PSU Fires JoePa
VIDEO: Interim Coach Tom Bradley (11/10)
VIDEO: Joe Paterno Speaks After Firing (11/9)
VIDEO: Board of Trustees News Conference (11/9)
VIDEO: Watch The Attorney General’s News Conference (11/7)
WARNING Contains Graphic Material: Read The Entire Grand Jury Presentment
AG, PSP Commissioner Statements: Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
LINK: Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office
LINK: Penn State Nittany Lions