Coach Bill O’Brien’s five-year deal with Penn State allows for the two sides to agree to an extension by 2016, or the year before his contract is up.
The contract could then be extended by one to three seasons, according to new details released this week by the university.
O’Brien signed the deal Jan. 6, when he was named Joe Paterno’s successor at Penn State. The university then had said O’Brien’s base salary started at $950,000, with a 5 percent increase each season.
Paterno’s base compensation started at a little more than $1 million a year – a relative bargain for a Hall of Fame coach with two national championships and Division I record 409 victories.
He died Jan. 22. Paterno was diagnosed with lung cancer in November, just days after being fired as head coach following 46 seasons in the aftermath of child sex abuse charges against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
Paterno testified before a grand jury investigating Sandusky and was not a target of the probe, authorities have said. Sandusky is out on bail after denying the allegations; his trial is tentatively scheduled to start in mid-May.
The resulting scandal led critics to question the transparency of decisions at a university which still gets about 6 percent of its funding from the state. O’Brien’s contract was released online Monday as part what the school has said was an effort to be more open and transparent.
Among the new details were specifics on performance incentives which were not to exceed a total of $200,000 annually. A 5 percent bonus for winning a division title, and 11 percent bonus for getting to a bowl game were among the incentives.
O’Brien was the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots last season. He was also the position coach for quarterback Tom Brady, as the Patriots won the AFC title and lost to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.
Also released was a copy of Acting Athletic Director David Joyner’s employment agreement worth $396,000 a year. Joyner has given no indication he plans to leave in the near future, and the agreement calls for the school to give Joyner 30 days’ notice before parting ways.
Joyner took over Nov. 17 for Tim Curley, who went on administrative leave after being charged with perjury and failing to report a 2002 allegation of abuse against Sandusky to authorities outside the university. Former school Vice President Gary Schultz faces the same charges; both Curley and Schultz have denied the charges while they await trial.
The school also released its annual financial report to the NCAA, submitted last month. As usual, revenue from the football program made up a big chunk of the athletics budget, including $34.2 million in revenue from ticket sales.