O'Brien: Money not factor in decision to stay
College Football Videos
Penn State coach Bill O'Brien spent last week vacationing with his wife and one of his sons at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
“I've been on more roller coasters the last four or five days than I have been on in my whole life,” O'Brien said with a grin.
O'Brien did his best Monday to reassure anxious fans that they won't endure the same when it comes to his future at Penn State.
O'Brien reaffirmed his commitment to the school on the one-year anniversary of his hiring and denied that money was a factor in the preliminary talks he had with the Browns and Eagles last week.
O'Brien, who took himself out of contention for any NFL head coaching jobs Thursday, also refuted a report that he received a $1.3 million gift from alumni donor Terry Pegula to stay at Penn State, calling it a “bunch of malarkey.”
O'Brien and acting athletic director Dave Joyner said the former did not make any demands for him to stay at Penn State after leading the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record and winning two national coach of the year awards.
“You really don't know me if you write something that ‘this guy did it for leverage and money,' ” O'Brien said during his first news conference since speculation of his leaving for the NFL spiked last week. “If I was about money, I probably wouldn't be sitting here at Penn State. I made the decision to be here at Penn State, and I can't think of a better place to be. This is a top 10 football program and I am very, very proud to be the head football coach here.”
O'Brien acknowledged that he would like to see improvements made to the program, including hiring more people to help with recruiting. There also are strong indications that O'Brien secured or is working to get more money for his assistant coaches.
O'Brien said he talked with several teams last week out of a sense of obligation to his family and because coaching in the NFL is the pinnacle of his profession. But, O'Brien said, he never seriously considered leaving Penn State, which still has to navigate three years of NCAA sanctions that include a ban on postseason play and a significant loss of scholarships.
O'Brien, who has eight years left on a contract that pays him about $2.3 million annually, did not directly answer a question about what he will do if NFL teams are interested in him after next season.
“To me, that's a very speculative question,” O'Brien said. “I'm telling you right now, I'm committed to this 2013 team. Believe me, I plan to be at Penn State, and I'm looking forward to coaching these kids.”
Joyner said he is not surprised O'Brien turned down overtures from NFL teams.
“Bill O'Brien's committed to Penn State, and I personally believe he's going to be here for a long time,” Joyner said. “It's always a risk with any great coach, and if people weren't talking about Bill O'Brien, then we made a lousy hire,” Joyner said.
O'Brien and Joyner presented a united front Monday regarding their working relationship. There have been rumors that the two have a strained relationship.
“I've heard something about that somewhere, but that's completely untrue,” Joyner said. “We've always had a great relationship and it's the same now as it was Day One.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates will play NL wild-card game at PNC Park after shutting out Reds
- Penguins notebook: Farnham relishes making opening-night roster
- Rowers thrive on rainless day at Head of the Ohio
- Pitt notebook: Panthers keeping many players involved
- Penn State notebook: Franklin cautious regarding injuries
- Man’s body recovered from river in McKeesport
- Utah’s Chaffetz in race for House speaker
- Hot issues put Supreme Court at helm of 2016 race
- Steelers cut Scobee, sign free agent kicker Boswell
- Penn Hills man allegedly robs Wilkins eatery
- Girl battling cancer scratches item off bucket list with PNC Park trip