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As Camp Nears, O’Brien, Nittany Lions Eye Future

Ohio State v Penn State

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STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — As training camp nears, as well as his second season on the sidelines, coach Bill O’Brien believes Penn State is headed in the right direction amid NCAA-imposed sanctions.

O’Brien addressed the media on Friday, joined by Penn State athletic director Dave Joyner, on a conference call to discuss the Nittany Lions’ first-ever international game — in Dublin, Ireland — on Aug. 30, 2014 against Central Florida.

But the tenor of the call quickly turned toward the bigger picture, as O’Brien continues to navigate through tough waters. Penn State faces four years of scholarship reductions and no postseason bowls because of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.

“I understand exactly why the sanctions are in place,” O’Brien said. “It’s about putting an end to child abuse and I get that.”

After losing to Ohio at home in the season opener, the Nittany Lions rallied to go 8-4 last year, including a 6-2 mark in the Big Ten.

The Nittany Lions will meet the Knights to open the next season in Ireland. Central Florida went 10-4 last season.

“We don’t have a lot of interaction with our players in the summertime based on the NCAA rules where we really can’t meet with them at all about football,” O’Brien said. “But from what I gauge is our players are very excited about going over there to Ireland and that experience.”

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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