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Head Coach Bill O’Brien To Remain At Penn State – Bruce’s Thought Of The Day Day

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First off, I have no problem with a coach improving his financial and employment security situation by moving to another job or using leverage to fatten his or her paycheck. Remember, these are the same coaches that after virtually every loss, many fans, because that’s the mentality they have, sadly, want the coach removed. So when they have the hammer they should use it to better themselves. Having said that, I also applaud when a coach decides to stick it through a commitment they made. Either way I am personally okay with.

Today I applaud Penn State’s Bill O’Brien for deciding not to leave Happy Valley and the Penn State Nittany Lions and stick it out beyond this season. O’Brien is or was being courted by a number of NFL teams with openings, including Cleveland and Philadelphia, being the most prominent.

O’Brien, who was told by Penn State that the whole Jerry Sandusky mess was a criminal situation and not an NCAA sanction situation, had excellent reasons to depart should he have chosen to. He chose to stay instead, at least for another year. Things change daily, let alone yearly, when it comes to job openings. As we know now, the NCAA did take matters into their hands as well and slam Penn State with four years of sanctions. O’Brien could have left, head held high for the job he did in 2012 and not feel regret. He decided to stay instead.

O’Brien, in announcing he was staying said “I’m not a one and done guy. I made a commitment to these players at Penn State and that’s what I am going to do. I am not going to cut and run after one year, that’s for sure.”

O’Brien’s decision may be rare and should be applauded. Now perhaps he wasn’t offered the power he wanted or perhaps the money offered if it came to that wasn’t what he was seeking. No matter the reasons he decided to stay at least for another year at the scandal ravaged school.

It should be noted that O’Brien did receive a nice bump in pay to stay at Penn State. His salary will jump to 3.6 million dollars, third highest in the Big 10. Also, a clause in O’Brien’s contract will extend his current deal through 2020, or as long as sanctions that Penn State got hit with. Those sanctions include exclusion from bowl games and recruitment reductions.

Some will say O’Brien used the NFL interest to increase his power and salary at Penn State. To that I say so what? That’s what leverage is for. It always strikes me as hypocritical how fans or media kvetch about such a situation, yet would do the exact same thing if they had that opportunity. Let’s face it, for a coach, job security is all based on win-loss record, and even that is shaky. Just ask Marty Schottenheimer who was fired by the San Diego Chargers after going 14-2 or perhaps ask Avery Johnson, who one month after being named Eastern Conference coach of the month for October-November, was shoved out the door by the Brooklyn Nets in December.

Loyalty is a one way street and using the hammer, as I call it, to improve your security or paycheck is perfectly okay in my view as is staying for whatever reasons. I applaud Bill O’Brien for sticking it out at Penn State and if he gets a fatter paycheck because of it that’s fine by me!

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