Buyout keeps O’Brien at Penn State


There have been various accounts and reports regarding the magnitude of the buyout necessary to extricate Bill O’Brien from his contract at Penn State after only one season.  Whatever it was, it played a role in O’Brien’s decision to stay put.

Per a league source, while O’Brien was drawing interest at the NFL level, he couldn’t find anyone to write the check to Penn State.

Of course, that’s not how O’Brien is spinning it.  “I’m not a one-and-done guy,” O’Brien said, via David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News.  “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.”

So why did he interview with the Browns, if he wasn’t going to “cut and run” after one year?

It likely was all about leverage, about getting Penn State to step up with a higher salary or, perhaps in the future, a lower buyout.  Per Jones, O’Brien’s flirtation with the NFL finagled a $1.3 million raise.

We don’t fault O’Brien for now creating the impression he didn’t consider leaving.  He’s not a bad guy for considering doing one thing and saying he always intended to do another; he’s simply being what he is — a college football coach.

29 responses to “Buyout keeps O’Brien at Penn State

  1. Don’t overlook the obvious. A coach in demand by the NFL helps in recruiting – that alone makes this “flirtation” more than worth the time, effort and money.

    College players may like Bowl games but what they really want is a springboard into the NFL – and learning from one of the NFL’s most sought after coaches can’t hurt their chances to be drafted in the long term.

  2. In today’s job market get what you can while you can, there is nothing wrong with leveraging interest into more money in your pocket. I say congrats.

  3. When Penn State has a losing record next year, the BOT should let BOB walk away Scott-free. The guy is not to be trusted.

  4. The fact that he was able to work an unbreakable contract into a raise shows the street smarts of this guy(or his agent)

    This is a sign of a great NFL coach someday….as long as he has a decent quarterback.

  5. On the plus side he can shamelessly flirt with the NFL every season to extricate more money from the school and he will still be the most honorable man to coach the team in the last half century.

  6. All he did was have a chat with another employer about a potential opportunity. Happens in the business world everyday. If that nets him another million good for him. No harm no foul.

    If this hurts his recruiting, that’s on him.

  7. Congrats Penn State, you’ve got a smooth talker that will abandon ship the first chance he gets. I’m sure this will hurt recruiting going forward, now that O’Brien’s true colors have been revealed.

  8. Why are you making him out to be such a bad guy? I’ve taken job interviews even though I knew I wasn’t going to take the job – you never know what could happen in the future. Besides most of what has been said about him is from “sources” and “reports”.

  9. This guy had NFL aspirations all along. You never want to be the man who follows ‘the man’. He’s done a good job at PSU but is still not considered a Penn Stater since he’s an outsider, and it will take years for him to do so. Putting names on the back of the uniforms after he said he would not certainly didn’t help. We all know he is leaving, but are actually glad he’s staying. It will benefit him and the school. Their certainly is no shortage of NFL jobs available at the end of each year!

  10. That coach at Nevada looks more and more honorable every minute. No wonder I cannot make myself sit and watch college football any more.

  11. It’s not about just being a head coach, nearly 99% of the people on here would like to get leverage from another company to get a raise even if they loved their job

  12. He should stay at PSU. His stock dropped in my mind just for interviewing…..sends the wrong message to his players and impacts his credibility at the same time.

  13. How much is his buyout? Also, why would he agree to a high buyout with Penn State in such a terrible position? He should have had all of the bargaining power in his contract

  14. Spin cycle. He is two and done. He shouldn’t go over the top and pat himself on the back for staying. I like how specifically said one year. He’s more of a two and gone.

  15. Anybody so desperate, and with so little morals, that would take a job at such a corrupt and disgusting school is not someone I ever want associated with my team.

    let the scum remain with the scum he attached himself to

  16. If O’Brien really cared about the student athlete at Penn State he would not have interviewed with the Browns.

  17. Billy took a bad deal and he’s stuck with it. Those sanctions will choke that program and he’ll be back in the NFL as an OC after Penn State fires him.

  18. From a Pat’s fan, this guy is soooo over rated it’s not funny. Tom Brady is the offensive coordinator in New England, much like Peyton is in Denver. Brady made Weis, Mc Doosh, and O’brien a ton of money.

  19. He’s so full of it! Someone needs to call him out on his “one and done” comment. If he could work out a deal with the right NFL team his Penn St players would have been thrown under the bus-again.

    I’m sure it won’t help his recruiting either when the other school can accurately point out the Penn St guy already tried once to bail and will most likely try again.

    If he’s got leverage fine-use it. But don’t try to do a con job on the public.

  20. Any harm or damage that comes to the despicable Penn St program is well-deserved. I hope he leaves them high and dry and without a coach. The legacy and state of the art facilities with TV contracts, sponsors, shoe contracts, hundreds of millions in alumni donations were all built on the screams of terror by children at the hands of Sandusky. Paterno and the head administrators covered up and looked the other way as long as the millions of dollars were rolling in to the Penn St cofers.

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