The Big Ten "hasn't always paid top dollar for coaching talent," but with deals such as Penn State's new agreement with James Franklin show, it now appears revenue from the Big Ten Network is "taking money concerns off the table," according to Dan Wetzel of YAHOO SPORTS. The launch of BTN "was, essentially, a Big Ten tax." The conference's stake in the net was "good enough for a projected" $270M profit in '13. Perhaps this is "a sign that league schools are beginning to spend the windfall on the kind of coaches that can make a difference" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/9). In Pennsylvania, Travis Johnson noted PSU and Franklin "agreed to a six-year contract" on Saturday, and his "buyout, should an NFL or other college team wish to pursue him," is $5M over the first two years. That buyout "becomes more affordable for other teams" at $2.5M in '16, $2M the next year and $1M over the last two years. However, Franklin "implied it won’t come into play." He will earn $4M in year one and will receive a $100,000 raise to his base salary annually, "increasing his guaranteed compensation" to $4.5M in the sixth year. Franklin will earn $2.2M annually "for radio and TV appearances in addition to $500,000 from Nike" (CENTRE DAILY TIMES, 1/12). SPORTS ON EARTH's Matt Brown wrote Franklin’s decision "confirms that Penn State remains an attractive job, that the Big Ten -- and its deep pockets -- can continue to attract top coaching talent" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 1/11).
OFF TO A GOOD START: In Pennsylvania, Bob Flounders noted the "give-and-take between Franklin and his audience" during Saturday's introductory press conference "lasted roughly 40 minutes." His "quick wit and enthusiasm were on display from the jump." Franklin "won the day" and "the room" (Harrisburg PATRIOT-NEWS, 1/12). Also in Pennsylvania, David Jones wrote Franklin "laid smack down" about owning Pennsylvania's top talent. He "audaciously assured that every seat in Beaver Stadium will be filled for every game." Franklin has "the gift." He is "an infectious person to be around." It will "be hard for everyone to resist." Jones: "To be specific, it’s pretty clear James Franklin is full of crap. But a lot of that is in a good way" (Harrisburg PATRIOT-NEWS, 1/12). The CENTRE DAILY TIMES' Walt Moody wrote PSU AD David Joyner has "faced his share of criticism -- sometimes fair and sometimes not -- during his brief tenure." But if Joyner has "proven anything since taking over" at the height of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, "it's that he knows how to lead a committee that can pick a good football coach" (CENTRE DAILY TIMES, 1/12).