Penn State’s compensation committee approved a new contract for head coach James Franklin on Friday. Sources tell SI that Franklin’s new deal will be for six years at an average of $5.8 million per year. His buyout is $2 million this year.
Penn State and football coach James Franklin have agreed to a three-year, $19.75 million contract extension that is scheduled to run through the 2022 season, the school announced Friday.
The deal makes no change Franklin’s basic compensation for 2017, which will be $4.6 million, including a $300,000 retention payment he will receive if he remains with the Nittany Lions through Dec. 31. It also adds only $100,000 to the $4.7 million he had been scheduled to make in 2018.
However, Franklin’s compensation is now set to start increasing considerably in 2019.
Under his new terms, he would be paid $5.65 million if he completes that year — $400,000 more than he had been scheduled to make under his original six-year contract that began in 2014, when came to Penn State from Vanderbilt.
In 2020, Franklin would get $5.95 million, including a $300,000 contract-year completion payment.
In 2021, he would get $6.45 million, including a $500,000 contract-year completion payment.
In 2020, he would get $7.25 million, including a $1 million contract-year completion payment.
As was the case under Franklin’s original terms, he also can get up $1 million each year in bonuses based on the team’s on-field achievements and coach of the year honors.
In another sweetener to the new deal, effective with Franklin’s current contract year, he will get up to 50 hours of private aircraft time for personal use – up from the 35 hours he was getting annually under his original terms.
If Franklin gets fired by Penn State without cause, he will be owed an amount equal to his compensation in the year he is fired, not including the annual completion payment, multiplied by the number of years remaining on the contract. If Penn State were to fire him on Dec. 1 of this year, he would be owed $4.3 million for each of the five remaining years of the deal – or, a total of $21.5 million.
If Franklin leaves Penn State for an NFL or college coaching job this year, he would owe the school $2 million. That amount drops to $1 million, beginning Jan. 1, 2018, and remains unchanged for the rest of the contract term.
Franklin’s compensation for this season likely will make him one the nation’s 10 highest-paid football coaches at a public school. Among coaches in the Big Ten Conference, he will trail Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and be on par with Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz.
Franklin’s new deal comes in the wake of a 2016 season in which the Nittany Lions went 11-3, won the Big Ten championship and played in the Rose Bowl.
His record in three seasons at Penn State stands at 25-15. His career record in six seasons is 49-30.
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