Matt McGloin, now a backup quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, led Penn State last season to an 8-4 record and helped keep the program intact. He was there when the sanctions first came down and, although he's no longer in Happy Valley, he was still happy to hear about the recent reduction in sanctions.
McGloin recently spoke at length about his reaction to the reduction, his thoughts on the NCAA and what other sanction bothers him the most.
Josh Moyer: What was your initial reaction to the news of the reduction of the sanctions?
Matt McGloin: It was shocking. It was exciting at the same time because it's something you'd like to say and think would happen -- but you never expect it to happen. I'm happy for the program, the university and most importantly coach [Bill] O'Brien, with everything he's done so far and how he's kept the place together. I'm especially happy for him.
Moyer: I went to the HUB and talked to a lot of people. And everybody was basically saying, 'Good but not good enough.' Stephon Morris shared a similar sentiment. Is that something you agree with, or are you just happy now?
McGloin: I'm optimistic about the situation and want to say it's the first step toward something great. At least they're doing something about it. But, at the same time, I'm starting to think that maybe the direction they're heading is, 'Hey, let's give them something small just to shut everybody up and shut these people up so it makes it look like we're doing something.' That's my only concern with it.
Moyer: So the optimist in you wants to think it's the beginning of more reductions, but the pessimist in you thinks this was just to shut up Penn State?
McGloin: Exactly. My only concern is that they decided to just give us this. Not that it's small. It's definitely a great thing. But at the same time -- and I don't know if it's on anyone else's mind -- but it's their way of saying, 'Here. Stop complaining, and leave us alone.'
Moyer: Why is that still a concern?
McGloin: Here's the thing. At the end of the day, they're trying to save themselves. They don't want to wake up tomorrow morning and have egg on their face and realize they made a huge mistake. So they're trying to make people happy. They're trying to keep the Penn State community happy and, at the same time, keep everybody else happy.
Like, 'Hey, we gave them this. But they still have a $60-million fine, they still can't play in a championship game, they still can't play for a bowl game. That's still a lot going on there.' What they've given us is great and all. But I guess I'd have to agree with Steph. It's just not enough yet.
Moyer: What would be enough? Restore everything? Is it more just the vacated wins?
McGloin: Well, for one, it's the wins that were vacated. That's over 10 years of preparation, hard work, working hard 365 days a year to play 12 games. That's dedication. You sacrifice a lot. You sacrifice your social life, relationships and stuff like that to be something better and be great for your university. Nobody's going to tell me I didn't play in the 400th game or the 409th game. That's ridiculous.
So a step would be getting the wins back. I understand all the fines. The fines are fine; that's something that has to happen. But I think if we could get the wins back and maybe play in the postseason, that would be great. But, like I said, the wins are just my main concern. That's just ridiculous.
Moyer: Are the wins important mainly because of Joe Paterno? Or is it getting those wins for everybody?
McGloin: For me, I kind of owe Joe my career because he gave me the opportunity to play Division I. And I know he always had my back. Maybe he didn't come out and say it, but I know that he did.
But it's like I said. It's kind of for all that he went through, his career and seeing it end and then seeing those wins vacated after he worked so hard his whole life when someone else messed up. It simply isn't fair.
Moyer: Can you kind of contrast how it felt when the NCAA did take those scholarships away back on July 23 and how you feel today?
McGloin: First of all, you're sitting there around your team [in the players' lounge on July 23]. That's your guys. That's some of your best buddies, some of the guys you go to war with each and every day. To watch [NCAA president Mark Emmert] on TV, you could see it in his face -- how it meant nothing to him to hand all this out. It meant nothing to him. That's what got guys so frustrated. His reaction toward it was as if he simply didn't care. It meant nothing to him to give that to us. His expression didn't change at all throughout the whole process. It was as if he was going about his day, as if it was just another part of his day and didn't realize he was trying to tear down one of the greatest football institutions of all time. And it's frustrating. You get worked up just talking about it right now.