Philadelphia, PA, United States (4E Sports) – Penn State coach Bill O’Brien clarified that money was not the reason why he decided to stay with the Nittany Lions rather than accept a coaching gig in the NFL.
“If I was about money, more than likely, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here now,” said O’Brien, who was interviewed by the Cleveland Browns before he decided to stay with Penn State.
“It’s not about money. It’s about making sure that Penn State University, the Penn State athletic department, Penn State football does everything we can to make sure it’s the best we can for our student-athletes. That’s what it’s about,” he added.
O’Brien originally signed a four-year contract in January 2012 and it was extended another four years due to the sanctions. O’Brien’s buyout stands at $9.2 million.
In the offseason, O’Brien said his main aim was to make several structural changes to the football program, like adding graduate assistants to the recruiting staff or employees to the academic staff.
O’Brien also clarified that he did not ask for a pay increase amid reports that a wealthy donor offered to add $1.3 million to his $2.3 million salary.
While acknowledging that he flirted with the NFL after the Nittany Lions finished 8-4 this season, the former New England offensive coordinator acknowledged interest did not move beyond “conversations” and that he received no job offers.
O’Brien said his family influenced his decision to stay with Penn State after a recent trip to Disney World.
“It’s my job as the father and the husband in that house that I take care of my family first,” he said. “That’s my duty as a father and husband, and that’s what I did. And, again, we couldn’t be happier than being at Penn State.”
However, O’Brien failed to comment when asked if he would entertain offers from the NFL next season.
“I mean, that’s next year,” O’Brien said. “I’m telling you right now I’m committed to this 2013 team, and I’m looking forward to coaching them.”
The dimple-chinned coach, dressed in a dark blazer and slacks, reiterated his love of Penn State throughout the news conference. But, he added, “You don’t get any higher than the National Football League.”