Christopher Smith

Penn State Paid Vandy $1.5 Million Buyout

Created on Jan. 25, 2014 8:02 PM EST

In addition to agreeing to a deal worth more than $4 million for coach James Franklin in 2014, Penn State paid a $1.5 million buyout to Vanderbilt, USA Today reported Friday.

That's big money considering the Nittany Lions' NCAA penalties and probation and helps explain Franklin's eagerness to jump to a program inherently limited the next two seasons.

The bigger news is that Penn State disclosed the contract terms at all. Pennsylvania's open-records law does not require Penn State, Pittsburgh or Temple to disclose compensation, the USA Today reported. But the Nittany Lions have volunteered terms for Franklin, former coach Bill O'Brien, athletics director Dave Joyner and now Franklin's buyout.

Though not unprecedented, schools not required to divulge coaching salaries rarely do. The paper called it part of Penn State's commitment to openness in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

More schools should release the compensation numbers — something Vanderbilt previously had declined to do regarding Franklin's contract and buyout terms.

Several programs paid seven-figure buyouts this hiring season, headlined by Texas, which dropped $4.375 million to Louisville for coach Charlie Strong, USA Today reported.

Ohio State's Urban Meyer currently is the only Big Ten coach getting paid more money than Franklin.

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