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Penn State Football: Illinois Coaches Not Regretting Decision to Recruit Nittany Lions

by on September 24, 2012 6:51 PM

When Bill O'Brien said prior to the season that it was time for Penn State to start punching back, he probably had this weekend's game against Illinois circled on his calendar.

Following the announcement that Penn State players were free to transfer and allowed to be contacted by other schools, a handful of programs took advantage of the momentary no-holds-barred recruiting.

While USC courted Silas Redd back in his Connecticut hometown, first-year Illinois coach Tim Beckman sent an entourage of coaches to Penn State's campus with the hope of taking a few Nittany Lions back home with them.

Even after receiving heat for sending the kitchen sink at Penn State's roster, Beckman said Monday he doesn't regret it.

“I regret that it ended up being this talk-about but it did give a young man the opportunity to make his decision on what he wanted to do." Beckman said of former Penn State redshirt backup offensive lineman Ryan Nowicki, who transferred to Illinois in early August.

“When we had that opportunity to go out and ask young men, or if they come to us, and they would like an opportunity to speak to us, I think that's what college football is about,” Beckman said.

Despite talking to O'Brien at Big Ten Media Days earlier in the summer, Beckman doesn't know if the issue is resolved yet.

“I hope so,” Beckman said. “But this game is about the players and about playing on the field. I know they’ll be prepared and I believe that Coach O’Brien does a great job. It’s going to be a 60-minute battle, no question.”

Penn State will not make senior linebacker Michael Mauti, a regular on weekly media calls, available to the media this week. Mauti was outspoken against recruiting players from Penn State at Big Ten Media Day earlier this year.

O'Brien will address the media Tuesday at his weekly press conference, and while he will have a chance to fire back at Beckman, he will likely keep the more charged comments behind closed doors.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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