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Penn State Head Coach Bill O'Brien Releases Statement

Penn State hired Bill O'Brien in January to replace long-time head coach Joe Paterno, who stepped down in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky revelations. Approximately seven months later, with Sandusky convicted and Paterno dead, O'Brien now heads a football program reeling under the weight of punishments merited out by the NCAA, including a bowl ban and the loss of scholarships.

O'Brien released a statement on Monday morning following the NCAA announcement. His statement reads:

"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."

O'Brien has no out clause in his five-year contract with Penn State, a contract he signed as the scandal brewed. If he resigns as head coach he has to pay back his base salary at the time multiplied by the number of years he has left on the deal, according to Penn Live.

His contract contains a number of bonuses that will impossible to earn because of the NCAA sanctions. For example, O'Brien would get a bonus worth 11 percent of his base salary for taking the Nittany Lions to a bowl game. His current base salary is $950,000, though it can increase after 18 months.

For more on Penn State athletics, head over to Black Shoe Diaries. For more on everything surrounding the Penn State scandal, stick with our StoryStream.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.