Pat Chambers, Penn State Nittany Lions men’s basketball, Head coach, Penn State University, Basketball Andy Katz Reacts to Patrick Chambers' Resignation
First of all, just overall your reaction to the news of patrick chambers, stepping down well it’s, disappointing um, obviously uh patrick, you know had done a really solid job of elevating this program. Uh from 2011 to last season, when we fully expected, they would have been in the ncaa tournament, led by lamar stevens, who really had been a dedicated player for penn state uh. But as you just heard, i think that last question from dan o’neill in the athletic uh that there’s a larger issue here dave and the story that came out in the undefeated with receiver bolton, who went from penn state to iowa state and the reference uh to A noose around his neck and loosening it using that phrasing that pat chambers did during a practice to bolton and how bolton was offended by that, and that was one of the catalysts for sending him off out of penn state on his own volition, to iowa state. You know we’re in a new era and coaches uh of all sizes. All you know every every level of division, one two and three, i should say in all levels of of uh coaching high school on up um. You know what you say: matters words matter and you cannot be demeaning ever you can’t touch any player ever you can be demanding, but there is a line and that line was crossed by pat chambers, clearly forcing an investigation we may learn later as to what else Was found during that investigation, but it was enough there to warrant a change during an unprecedented time in all our lives, especially in college athletics.
To make a change at this moment meant that everything he had done through the investigation, which was corroborated uh. There was no turning back and he had to go. I mean they allowed him to resign, but clearly he was going to go yeah it’s interesting too, and you know there was an incident, of course, with miles dredd pushing miles dread during a time out in a game two seasons ago. So there was that as well, but it does kind of speak. I think what you’re talking about is kind of some larger issues going on larger issues going on in our society and larger issues going on and kind of, this relationship between coaches and players, and – and i mean while it is in the micro about patrick chambers and Certainly to him and this team that micro really matters there’s kind of a macro issue and i think that’s what you’re getting at here, andy that everything is now taken in the context of what’s going on in society. Yeah i mean look there’s a case going on at wichita state right now, with greg marshall he’s under investigation for the way he treated his players, both at winthrop and wichita state, but they’re waiting for, like penn state, a third party investigation to corroborate the information. Clearly, in this case, it was corroborated enough to warrant a resignation. Maybe it was ultimately going to be a dismissal, and that allows him probably some wiggle room within his contract uh if there’s cause, but i also think there’s a larger issue david that we’re going to see throughout college athletics is there’s much more power to the player.
They have been empowered. We are seeing that now through not just covet, but even more so through all the social injustice that has gone on and the awakening. I should say for a lot of mainstream america to see. What’S really going on in terms of systemic racism and players have been empowered to speak their mind, regardless of what they’re going to say, without any retribution from their either peers or coaches or administrators. And i think this is now where administrators any kind of allegation by a player, especially if it involves any kind of demeaning any racist, uh language anything related to gender um. You know sexual uh orientation um any of that um. You know it’s really going to have an effect where there’s going to be a formal investigation, because those players are going to be believed. Maybe they should have been believed before, but i think now, more than ever, what they say will matter and administrators cannot look the other way at all, and i think this was a great example of what we’re going to see at this point forward for anyone that Crosses that line we spoke with mike corsi a little bit about jim ferry, who now takes over in very challenging circumstances. He was talking about his time and his success in liu. Had the duquesne head coaching position, uh previous to his time more recently to uh to his time at penn state and obviously, as as mike said, look that is a really challenging job, but give us a sense for kind of what jim ferry’s walking into here.
Well. First of all, i think it’s absolutely imperative that they hired an interim coach who has been a head coach because, as you may know, dave in football as we get ready for the big ten to start up and then, of course, in men’s and women’s basketball. The two other high profile sports in the winter um – you need experience as a head coach and the players, because you could be dealing with unprecedented decisions. You should have you know being sidelined for seven to 14 days. You could have games being missed. You could have to practice with limited numbers, there’s, so many different things that could be coming at a head coach and a team, and so you’re going to need a head coach that has dealt with adversity. That knows how to run a program, and so in that sense, penn state is very fortunate that they have someone like jim ferry on the bench, because i can’t even imagine how you could just go out and hire someone who’s not on campus during this pandemic or Or if he had a staff without someone that had even managed a staff before whether or not he can get the full time, job we’ll have to wait and see i’d be surprised if they didn’t really try to make a diverse hire here. Uh but we’ll wait and see i mean maybe they’ll have a great season. They’Ve got eight returning players uh. They certainly have post season potential uh, but losing obviously lamar stevens was a big blow, but their back court is back so they have potential.
But i think, having jim ferry having experience uh is monumental at this time now there is certainly some talent um. You know myron jones coming back, obviously isaiah brockington, some really good players there at penn state. We saw seth lundy start to emerge last year, really talented young guy, if it isn’t jim ferry. What are the particular? You know kind of challenges that that this program presents and what’s kind of the mold of the person who you think could succeed here along the way that pat chambers was starting to succeed here at the end of his tenure. Well, look, i mean the higher made sense. Uh you’ve got a villanova assistant. I know he was the head coach at bu, but obviously a former villanova assistant. I mean penn state really needed to, and i know they’ve tried so many different ways to to recruit but tapping into philadelphia as best they can you’re not going to beat. But if you can get the second best player in philly, i mean that would still be great when there’s, obviously in an area where there usually is talent, um so to look east, you know, for them is the right move, uh, and so i think that was The right mindset for them, i mean playing the game that you broadcasted. I think it was last year at my mind’s blur, but uh the iowa game with the plaster yes flashlight five years ago, but i mean doing stuff like that and trying to get into.
You know the philadelphia market as much as possible where, where so much of their alumni bases and obviously in the new york metro area and penn state, loves to play games in either the garden or barclays. All that you know, i think they still have to head in that direction. For a coach that’s got those ties to bring those kind of players to penn state yeah. No doubt i mean look.