Penn State AD Sandy Barbour agrees to extension for “last stop”
ORLANDO, Fla. — Sandy Barbour has reached an agreement on a contract extension at Penn State, and the athletic director said the school will be her “last stop” as a college administrator.
“Where would I want to go that’s a better opportunity, that’s a better fit for me than Penn State?” Barbour said Monday morning at a Citrus Bowl press conference.
Barbour noted she “absolutely” wants to stay at Penn State for many more years and added, “This next contract will certainly help me do that.”
Barbour, 59, signed a five-year contract when she arrived at PSU in July of 2014, and that initial deal expires on Aug. 31. She said she has “come to an agreement” on a new contract with Penn State President Eric Barron in recent weeks and that the matter is now in the hands of the board of trustees.
Barbour addressed many issues during a 30-minute Q-and-A with the media Monday. Here’s a breakdown of some major topics:
• Parking: Bad weather and soggy conditions have forced many of the grass parking lots around Beaver Stadium to close on numerous occasions for football games in recent years.
“We’ve got the best tailgating that there is, and it’s part of the passion,” Barbour said. “The weather, there’s not much we can do about it. … What we’re left to do is make as many adjustments as we possibly can.
“I’ve heard a lot, well, you need to pave more of the lots or you need to do this or that. If we were able to do that, we certainly would, but most of our grass lots are either intramural fields or (agricultural) fields … (that) do not allow us to pave them.”
One issue that’s frustrated some has been the occasional closing of the high-priced grass lots right next to the stadium, and Barbour was asked if it’s feasible to pave those.
“There are a few of them, there are some small improvements that we can do there,” she said before later adding, “We’re very limited from a parking perspective from current grass lots as to which of those we could make either gravel or paved.”
• Beaver Stadium usage: PSU is committed to finding other uses for the stadium outside of football, with Barbour mentioning the possibility for an NHL Winter Classic game, a soccer game or another concert (Blake Shelton performed the first one there in 2017).
“It’s just got to be the right situation,” she said, adding there probably won’t be any such event this summer.
• Coquese Washington: The women’s basketball coach has come under scrutiny in recent years as the program has fallen off, failing to reach the NCAA Tournament since 2014. She’s in the final year of her contract.
Washington won three straight Big Ten regular-season titles from 2012-14 but has finished 11th or worse in the league three of the past four years.
“There’s no doubt that where that program has been for the last four, now into five years is not Penn State standards. It’s not Coquese’s standards. It’s certainly not my standards,” Barbour said.