Cutcliffe's close-up perspective of Penn State
Jul 25, 2012
It's hard to look at Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien and not feel extremely sorry for the man. He knew he was getting into a mess, but I am certain no sane person would sign up for something quite this bad.
David Cutcliffe looks at the situation a little differently than the rest of us. He had conversations with Penn State about replacing Joe Paterno.
"I had phone calls, but it wasn't the right thing to do," said Cutcliffe during an interview with a South Carolina radio station this week.
It's easy to see why Penn State would have an interest in Duke's head coach. He's got an excellent reputation in the coaching community and has the personality to handle adversity.
Cutcliffe dealt with a couple of personal tragedies as a young boy which included the death of his brother. So, despite a sub-par record at Duke, he held enough traits to be a candidate for the tricky Penn State rebuilding job.
"I know that I am a veteran coach. I have seen most things that could happen in this business, good and bad at this point," Cutcliffe said. "I hope that people do view us as a program of integrity. Part of that would be the attraction of Duke University. The mentality was suddenly on academics. I think that had something to do with the thought process."
A few reports loosely linked Cutcliffe to the Penn State job when it was open, but none of us ever knew how serious it was. You have to wonder if he was one of the first to see a disaster coming and it's hard to believe he doesn't feel a sense of relief when thinking back to those phone calls. Not letting the talks go very far may have been the best call of Cut's career.