Sure, Penn State‘s Bill O’Brien is sticking with the Nittany Lions for 2013, but what about the years following that?
In a recent press conference where he stated he would be staying with the program, he said his decision to stay had nothing to do with his $2.3 million salary or reports that a wealthy donor would be adding $1.3 million to his salary if he stayed. The first-year coach insisted that he never once asked for a raise.
No, he wants to build this program back up from scratch. They were at their lowest point in school history when he was hired and what he did in a year’s time was remarkable. He took a team that was experiencing the loss of legendary head coach Joe Paterno and dealing with possibly the worst scandal in college sports history, then turned them into a team of hope.
This team wasn’t supposed to do anything in the Big Ten, but instead they went 8-4 and finished in second place in the Leaders Division. They may not be contending for a title for the next couple of seasons, but O’Brien has this team on the right track.
He stated that if it was about money, he wouldn’t still be at Penn State.
“If I was about money, more than likely, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here now. 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 said.
It seems like he really cares about finishing what he started, but how long would finishing that effort take?
O’Brien did leave the door open on a question from a reporter that asked if he would have any interest in talks with the NFL after the 2013 season.
“I mean, that’s next year. I’m telling you right now I’m committed to this 2013 team, and I’m looking forward to coaching them,” he said.
He’s committed to the 2013 team, but what about teams after that? Is that him telling the college football world that 2013 is his last season at this level? Time will tell, but to me, it seems as if the coach may be in his last college football season at Penn State.