Penn State Football: Illinois Staff Was in State College but Not on Campus, Coach Says
CHICAGO — Illinois coach Tim Beckman said his coaching staff did not go on Penn State’s campus Wednesday but was at various establishments in State College and called players to offer them the chance to stop by and discuss potential transfer options.
“We did not go onto their campus,” Beckman said. “We only talked to individuals who will be willing to meet with us. We did not go after them.”
Beckman met with Penn State acting athletic director Dave Joyner and coach Bill O’Brien on Thursday morning but did not disclose who he was recruiting.
He said his compliance department gave Penn State a head’s up on which players his staff was chasing.
“We’re just following the rules of the NCAA,” Beckman said. “We provided Penn State with the names prior to us even going there.”
The NCAA is also allowing Penn State players to transfer to any school by the start of preseason practice in the 2013 season and be immediately eligible to play.
Penn State has no jurisdiction in stopping a player from choosing his new school. Players must simply inform Penn State of their interest in transferring to another school, and interested schools also must inform Penn State they wish to court its player.
"I have no idea what schools are on campus nor do I care," O'Brien said. "That’s about all I have to say on that."
The NCAA is also allowing teams to exceed their scholarship limits by adding Penn State players for 2012-13, however they must reduce the total number of scholarship players on their roster proportionately the following season. In effect, it creates a free agency-like culture in college football.
Players who transfer during the 2012 season and have not competed for Penn State during that season will be immediately eligible. If they have played during the season and elect to transfer, they are not eligible for the 2012 season.
The NCAA also suspended off-campus and telephone recruiting rules until Aug. 27, the first day of fall classes at Penn State.
Purdue coach Danny Hope also said he would recruit Penn State players because, simply, it may improve his team and the NCAA said it could.
Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema will not recruit players from Penn State, though Meyer said he would listen if players reached out to him about a transfer.
“I think that what Penn State is going through right now is something that they have championed over the last several days and the last several weeks,” Bielema said.