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O’Brien staying at Penn State

Bill O'Brien AP

Well, that certainly didn’t take long.  And, you can apparently breathe again, Happy Valley

Just a couple of hours after it was reported that Penn State’s Bill O’Brien had interviewed for the Cleveland Browns vacancy earlier this week, and after it reported that O’Brien interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles today, Jason La Confora of CBS Sports is reporting that “O’Brien is staying at Penn State” after what was by most accounts a very brief flirtation with the NFL.

“O’Brien has informed the school he is staying put,” La Confora subsequently tweeted.  Additionally, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM Radio tweeted that O’Brien will not do any additional interviews with NFL clubs.

The news is huge for a Nittany Lions football program that could’ve been facing the loss of their first-year head coach heading into the second year of stifling NCAA sanctions.

O’Brien’s decision to remain in Happy Valley also comes shortly before a critical recruiting stretch commences, and will allow the Nittany Lions staff to retain what’s shaping up to be an above-average class.  That’s critical for O’Brien & Company as part of the NCAA sanctions included deep cuts in scholarships available annually.

UPDATED 10: 34 p.m. ET: In an interview with David Jones of the Patriot-News, O’Brien himself confirmed that he will remain at Penn State.

I’m not a one-and-done guy,” said O’Brien. “I made a commitment to these players at Penn State and that’s what I am going to do. I’m not gonna cut and run after one year, that’s for sure.”

Jones also reported that, per high-level PSU sources, O’Brien will receive a raise of $1.3 million annually that will bump his salary to $3.6 million.  If that’s the case, O’Brien would become the third-highest paid head coach in the Big Ten behind Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz.

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19 Responses to “O’Brien staying at Penn State”
  1. amosalanzostagg says: Jan 3, 2013 10:15 PM

    This is good news,….now Corbett needs to rescind his federal lawsuit. Let Penn State move on.

  2. fitz66 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:27 PM

    Good for O’Brien. PSU players (those not involved with the scandal) have been through enough.

  3. dhlions says: Jan 3, 2013 10:27 PM

    No, the suit should continue. The NCAA needs to be pressure tested by an entity that size.

    PA might lose, but at least in the process some light will be shed on the dark corners of the NCAA’s workings.

  4. jimbo75025 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:44 PM

    Hmm, seems O’Brien just used this to get a raise. Either that or the Browns and Eagles must have turned him down flat. Hopefully PSU was smart enough to add a hefty buyout clause in return for this raise or we could see this same scenario next year.

    PSU is not involved with the lawsuit (on paper), but I am sure there are some powerfull alumni whispering in the governors ears.

  5. atwatercrushesokoye says: Jan 3, 2013 11:38 PM

    I’m still trying to figure out what exactly Kirk Ferentz has done to be both paid and thought of so highly? I don’t think he’s a bad coach but I’ve just never understood the hype.

  6. mcmuskie79 says: Jan 3, 2013 11:38 PM

    O’Brien’s buyout is what is keeping him at PSU. Not his “loyalty”

  7. thegamecocker says: Jan 3, 2013 11:48 PM

    The fact he interviewed after one year is enough for me to conclude that he is not as loyal to this program as he says he is. I guess the teams he interviewed with are not that impressed with him. The next few years will be the difficult ones for Penn St, although this past season was no walk in the park. Obrien did a fine job this past season; but he is BS’ing when he says he’s not a one and done kind of guy. If the offer was there, he would have left PSU “high and dry”!

  8. dadsource says: Jan 3, 2013 11:54 PM

    O’Brien will leave for the NFL when he can, however I’m surprised how calm, cool, and collected the guy was during this difficult season. He certainly kept things together and recruited well. Shoot, maybe the job will grow on him. We all know the buyout was 18 million plus, so there was no way he was leaving, so this was about leverage for now. But with a huge loyal fan base and great facilities, that pay raise (plus stability) may make him love it there. Even Paterno hated it there at first, and couldn’t wait to get out, but things change.

  9. houndofthebaskervols says: Jan 4, 2013 2:26 AM

    I didnt much care for O’Brien when he was at New England, but you have to admire the way he’s handled this Penn State thing. Bravo.

    And to the idiots that say its his buyout thats keeping him from leaving, ya’ll dont know much about how these things work.

  10. phillyfanmatt says: Jan 4, 2013 6:49 AM

    I don’t care how loyal any one is to their job if another company called you and offered you an interview at their company you would probably go for the interview. It’s returning to your current job for whatever reason that shows how loyal you are.

  11. mdac1012 says: Jan 4, 2013 7:55 AM

    All these guys talking about “loyalty” and “character” get over yourselves. Coaching is a business, and these coaches are commodities who are going to cash in when they are at their highest value.

    Most of the NFL teams were not going to pay a 9 million dollar buyout fee plus his salary for a guy with one year of head coaching experience, that’s why he is staying.

    Like Chris Rock said, a man is as loyal as his options.

  12. vegasdestroyer says: Jan 4, 2013 7:55 AM

    It’s not the BLUE AND WHITE that BOB cares about. It’s the GREEN. When BOB leaves, PSU should interview Petrino.

  13. dkhhuey says: Jan 4, 2013 8:15 AM

    Wow – I didn’t know there were so many people that BO’B confided in and know what is in his head! Amazing.

  14. latrobe21 says: Jan 4, 2013 8:30 AM

    @ fitz,

    Which PSU players were involved in the scandel?

  15. gershonpsu says: Jan 4, 2013 8:42 AM

    Dadsource — I knew Joe well from the time he was an assistant coach (for sixteen years) through turning down the New England Patriot’s offer of 8% of the franchise plus the first $million contract in NFL history.

    He loved Penn State and State College every day of his 61 years there.

    You can’t just make stuff up.

  16. thegamecocker says: Jan 4, 2013 9:39 AM


    I respectfully disagree with your assessment that you measure loyalty on if the employee comes turns down the position somewhere else. The fact he spoke with another employer in such a public forum indicates his loyalty is not as strong as he would make you think it is. Since no offer was made (at least publicly), than he came back to PSU b/c he had nowhere else to go. If the right offer comes along, I’m convinced he will leave PSU. What irritates me is he public statement: “I’m not a one-and-done guy,” said O’Brien. “I made a commitment to these players at Penn State and that’s what I am going to do. I’m not gonna cut and run after one year, that’s for sure.”
    If he knew that BEFORE he interviewed, than why interview in the first place?! That’s why I conclude he is BS’ing and I don’t like that. Just say I am remaining at PSU and be done with it……

  17. anonymouslyanonymouscommentor says: Jan 4, 2013 12:05 PM


  18. latrobe21 says: Jan 4, 2013 1:51 PM


    What does it take to get banned from your blog site?

  19. psufan220 says: Jan 5, 2013 12:10 AM

    This was all about leverage to get rid of the AD who had no idea what he was doing and was asinine in some of his demands. BOB came close to resigning at the end of season due to it. This was all done to benefit the university where he could run the program the way he wants.

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