Penn State coach Bill O'Brien was asked Tuesday if he's worried about having enough time to prove himself with a five-year contract and a four-year bowl ban, and he answered by saying he doesn't worry about that kind of thing.
We found out Wednesday that he has no reason to worry.
O'Brien has a stipulation in his contract that extends it equal to the number of years of certain NCAA sanctions. Penn State was slapped with a four-year bowl ban and scholarship reductions, so O'Brien gets four extra years tacked onto his deal.
That means he now has a nine-year contract that runs through the 2020 season, giving him an enormous guarantee for a first-year head coach.
O'Brien made numerous appearances on ESPN programs Wednesday, getting his message out about the football program's future. He made a reference to an addendum to his contract that would add years to it, and later in the day the Centre Daily Times obtained documents explaining details of the contract.
The CDT quoted this portion: "Any sanction by the NCAA of a) loss of scholarships or b) bowl eligibility due to the actions of the previous staff or lack of institutional control prior to 2012 will immediately result in an automatic extension of coach's contract at 2016 total compensation and bonus package in years equal to the number of years of the sanctions."
O'Brien's contract calls for him to make $2.3 million per year, including base pay and other perks.
Penn State is looking into the possibility of ending the regular season with a game at Hawaii, O'Brien said, which would serve as a de facto bowl game reward trip for the players since the program is ineligible to compete in bowls for four years.
O'Brien said on ESPN's "Mike & Mike in the Morning" that a game at Hawaii could "act as our bowl game at the end of the year."
It would not be an unprecedented move for a program facing a bowl ban to schedule end-of-the-season games at Hawaii. Alabama did that in 2002 and '03.
The NCAA regular season consists of 12 games, but there are stipulations that allow for an extra game in Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico. It's not clear if Penn State faces any restrictions that would make it ineligible for a 13th game, and the NCAA did not respond to a phone message left by the Mirror seeking clarification.
Penn State's final regular-season game this year is scheduled for Nov. 24 against Wisconsin. Hawaii's final game is Dec. 1, so if the Nittany Lions are to travel there, it likely would be Dec. 8.
If such a game doesn't take place this season, the possibility could be pursued during the next three years