U Not in Pursuit of PSU Players
Gophers football coach Jerry Kill said this afternoon on the Big Ten Network his program isn’t in pursuit of Penn State football players. Speaking at the Big Ten Conference football coaches media gathering, Kill did say that if contacted by a Nittany Lion player the Gophers would go through the “proper procedures.”
The NCAA announced earlier this week that Penn State’s players are immediately eligible to transfer to other Division I schools and play football this fall. Those schools include the other 11 programs in the 12-team Big Ten Conference of which scandal-soaked Penn State is a member.
Illinois coach Tim Beckman said in Chicago at the media news conference that Illini staff has gone to State College after Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas received a list of Penn State players interested in transferring. Penn State coach Bill O’Brien said he isn’t aware of players on his roster who are leaving the program.
“I think that right now at the University of Minnesota we’re concentrating on building a program,” Kill said. “We’ve got enough problems of our own trying to move forward. We’re not gonna do anything to go see players. We don’t have enough time to do those kind of things.
“…If a young man called us from Penn State, or whatever, we would do the proper procedures. But right now we’ve got enough problems to focus on what we need to do to become a football team, and that’s where our focus is.”
Kill, 3-9 with the Gophers in his first season, talked briefly about the change and even tragedy he’s seen in his program since taking over in late 2010. He’s worked for two presidents, two athletic directors, endured physical problems, a difficult first season on the field and last spring was stunned by the death of Gopher linebacker Gary Tinsley.
“When adversity hits you, you have to deal with it. You can’t run away from it,” Kill said. “We’ve had our fair share.”
Kill, who believes his team will be improved in 2012, is nationally known for his past health problems including a history of seizures. Asked about his health today, Kill said: “I feel fantastic. I appreciate your asking.”