Curran: O'Brien in a mess at Penn State

668016.jpg

Curran: O'Brien in a mess at Penn State

Well, if Bill O'Brien hoped to enhance his coaching career by showing he could deal with adversity, he landed in the right spot.

But as sanctions for the Penn State football program dropped on Monday, this feels less like adversity and more like unmitigated disaster.

And now it's worth wondering whether O'Brien would have made the decision to leave the Patriots and join the diseased Penn State program as Joe Paterno's successor if O'Brien knew then what he knows now.

A story this morning detailing O'Brien's contract shows that O'Brien did little to protect himself contractually from the Sandusky fallout.

Sara Ganim for The Patriots News reports that "if (O'Brien) wants to terminate employment for any reason before his five-year contract is over, he has to pay back his base salary at the time multiplied by the number of years left."

His base salary, Ganim reports, is 950,000 for 2012. He makes another 1 million for media-related university appearances and 350K from Nike.

Ganim also points out that the bonus structure in O'Brien's contract tied to the win-loss success of the Nittany Lions is where O'Brien will really take the hit. O'Brien would make up to 33 percent of his base salary for winning his division in the Big Ten, winning the Big Ten championship game, playing in a bowl game and winning the BCS title game.

The sanctions levied will make two of the bonus targets -- playing in a bowl game and winning the BCS title game -- completely unreachable for four seasons, since one of the penalties is that the Nittany Lions can't play in a bowl game.

O'Brien released a statement Monday morning reaffirming his commitment to the program despite the sanctions brought against Penn State:

"Today we receive a very harsh penalty from the NCAA and as Head Coach of the Nittany Lions football program, I will do everything in my power to not only comply, but help guide the University forward to become a national leader in ethics, compliance and operational excellence. I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead. But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes.

"I was then and I remain convinced that our student athletes are the best in the country. I could not be more proud to lead this team and these courageous and humble young men into the upcoming 2012 season. Together we are committed to building a better athletic program and university."

You'd like to be able to credit O'Brien's desire to face the challenge in Happy Valley and say that it seemed like a good idea at the time when he took the job. But it wasn't. And now it's miles worse.

Gronkowski after surgery: 'Dance floor tomorrow night... here I come'

Gronkowski after surgery: 'Dance floor tomorrow night... here I come'

After undergoing back surgery earlier in the day on Friday, Rob Gronkowski is back on his feet and cracking jokes.

The injured Patriots tight end posted a video of himself on his feet with the assistance of a walker captioned "Rehab day 1! "Can't nobody hold me down... Oo no I got to keep on movin"

MORE: 

In the video, Gronk takes a few steps and says, “Dance floor tomorrow night. . . here I come.”

Watch the video below [NSFW language from Gronk's dad]

Rehab day 1! "Can't nobody hold me down... Oo no I got to keep on movin"

A video posted by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on