Bill O'Brien has coached Penn State to surprising 5-2 start. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Bill O'Brien has lifted the Penn State football program from the turmoil surrounding the NCAA sanctions that followed the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The Nittany Lions are 5-2 despite numerous distractions, restrictions and talented players transferring to non-sanctioned programs. It's the kind of turnaround that attracts the attention of other college programs and NFL front offices looking for a coach to rejuvenate their teams; a coach like O'Brien.
O'Brien's agent told the Altoona Mirror that Penn State need not worry about him leaving Happy Valley any time soon.
"The questions are irrelevant because he's not going anywhere," agent Joe Linta said by phone Sunday. "If he were going to leave Penn State, it would have been a while ago [post-NCAA sanction announcement]."
If O'Brien does entertain interest or offers, he'll have to consider a substantial financial buyout that decreases with each year.
O'Brien's contract is public record and can be viewed at progress.psu.edu. It clearly stipulates that if he leaves before the contract is up, he has to buy out the remaining years on the deal.
O'Brien signed a five-year contract with a base pay of $950,000 per year, plus additional compensation of $1 million per year for radio/TV and $350,000 per year from Nike. That totals $2.3 million (plus annual raises).
If he resigns early, he would have to buy out the entire $2.3 million per year, not just his base pay.