When Penn State was hit with sanctions, Bill O’Brien’s contract was automatically extended four years

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We now see why Penn State coach Bill O’Brien quickly proclaimed his commitment to Penn State in the wake of the announcement of the Penn State sanctions.

According to Joe Schad of ESPN, when O’Brien agreed to take the job at Penn State, his contract had an addendum added to it that called for an automatic 4-year extension if the school was hit with specific sanctions. Those sanctions being a loss of scholarships and post-season bowl bans.

A clause in the contract, obtained Wednesday by ESPN’s Joe Schad, was triggered when Penn State received its four-year bowl ban as part of the sanctions announced Monday in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

O’Brien will receive 2016 compensation in 2017-20 per the terms of an addendum to the agreement, which he and acting athletic director Dave Joyner both signed.

“Any sanction by the NCAA of a) loss of scholarships or b) bowl eligibility due to the actions of the previous staff or lack of institutional control prior to 2012 will immediately result in an automatic extension of coach’s contract at 2016 total compensation and bonus package in years equal to the number of years of the sanctions,” the addendum said.

The fact that this was in O’Brien’s contract really shouldn’t surprise anyone.

From Bill O’Brien’s point of view, there’s just no way you take the Penn State job without something like this. And as for Penn State, they had to open to sweetening any deal just to get someone to take the job.


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