Friday, July 3, 2015

Report: Bill O'Brien gets $1.3 million raise after turning down Eagles and other NFL teams to stay at Penn State

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(Gene J. Puskar/AP file photo)
(Gene J. Puskar/AP file photo)

Bill O'Brien had many reasons to turn down overtures from the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns to stay at Penn State.

It turns out that there were at least 1.3 million such reasons.

David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported Friday morning that O'Brien got a $1.3 million raise after deciding to remain with the Nittany Lions.

"I made a commitment to these players at Penn State and that's what I am going to do," O'Brien told Jones in an exclusive interview. "I'm a man of my word. I am what I am. Maybe I get fired in six years. But I'm not gonna cut and run after one year, that's for sure."

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O'Brien confirmed to Jones that his agent, Joe Linta, fielded and listened to offers from multiple clubs.

But O'Brien turned them all down - and perhaps got some help doing so from one of Penn State's biggest boosters.

Terry Pegula - who gave $88 million to Penn State's athletic department last year to finance construction of a new varsity ice hockey arena - apparently helped influence O'Brien's decision to stay in State College.

Jones hinted that as a result of that decision, there may be some "strucutral and personnel" changes coming in Penn State's athletic department. But he gave no further hints as to what those changes may be.

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