Penn State players announce commitment to team

By Adam Bittner

Daily Collegian, Penn State U. via UWIRE

About 30 members of the Penn State football team gathered at the Lasch Building’s practice fields on Wednesday morning to issue a joint statement on their commitment to remain at the university despite NCAA sanctions handed on Monday.

Fullback Michael Zordich and linebacker Michael Mauti spoke for their teammates, who stood behind them for the 2 1/2-minute statement.

“We want to let the nation know that we’re proud of who we are,” Zordich said. “We’re going to stick together through this, we’re going to see this thing through and we’re going to do everything that we can for the university.”

Zordich is a rising senior for the Nittany Lions and is expected to start at fullback this coming season. His father, also named Mike Zordich, played for Penn State in the 1980s and now coaches for the Philadelphia Eagles.

“As a team, we don’t see this as a punishment, we see this as an opportunity,” Zordich said. “This is the greatest opportunity a Penn State could ever be given. We have an obligation to Penn State and we have the ability to fight for not just a team, not just a program, but an entire university and every man that wore the blue and white on that gridiron before us. We’re going to embrace this opportunity, and we’re going to make something very special happen in 2012.”

Mauti — whose brother, Patrick, and father, Rich both played for Penn State as well — followed Zordich.

“This program was not built by one man and this program sure as hell’s not going to get torn down by one man,” Mauti said. “No sanction, no politician is ever going to take away what we got here. None of that’s ever going to tear us apart. We’re going to show up every Saturday and we’re going to raise hell.”

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