O'Brien gets $1 million raise from PSU

Penn State amended the contract of head football coach Bill O'Brien on Thursday, with the 2012 Bear Bryant Award recipient receiving a pay raise of nearly $1 million for the upcoming season.

O'Brien was due to receive a five percent increase on his 2012 salary of $950,000 under his original contract, but will now earn a base sum of $1.932 million after guiding the turmoil-ridden Nittany Lions' program to an 8-4 record along with a 6-2 mark in Big Ten play during his first year on the job.

The 43-year-old O'Brien inherited a Penn State team rocked by NCAA sanctions and numerous player defections in the wake of the sex abuse scandal involving former longtime assistant Jerry Sandusky. The controversy led to the PSU Board of Trustees to fire the legendary Joe Paterno in November of 2011, with the Hall of Fame head coach dying of lung cancer just two months later at the age of 84.

O'Brien was able to navigate those challenges and led the Nittany Lions to a second-place finish in the Leaders Division of the Big Ten, while his eight overall victories were the most by a first-year coach in PSU history.

For his accomplishments, O'Brien received the Bryant Award honoring college football's national coach of the year, and was named the Big Ten's Coach of the Year as well.

"In the face of great adversity, Bill did a tremendous job with all facets of the Penn State football program," Penn State athletics director Dave Joyner said in a statement. "This rightly recognizes Bill's outstanding achievements in guiding our student-athletes on and off the field."

The Nittany Lions were not eligible for a bowl last season due to the NCAA penalties levied against the program, with the ban to run through the 2015 campaign.