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Penn State, football coach James Franklin agree to new 10-year deal through 2031

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James Franklin will be staying at Penn State, after all, and possibly for a long time to come.

At least the questioning and rumors about other jobs can end, for now: University officials announced Tuesday that they and Franklin have agreed to a new 10-year deal through 2031. The terms were approved by the board of trustees' subcommittee on compensation.

Beginning Jan. 1, Franklin will be scheduled to make $8.5 million annually, including a $500,000 retention bonus each Dec. 31, according to a term sheet released by the school. That amount includes $1 million in the form of loans to be used to pay the premiums on a life insurance policy. Pennsylvania open-records law does not require Penn State to make employment contracts public, but the school likely will be entitled to reimbursement of the loans from the insurance policy’s death benefit.

The deal’s guaranteed value is $80 million – all the money involved except the annual retention payments. That will give Franklin the second-largest guaranteed amount of any public-school sports coach, behind the $95 million that Texas A&M will be guaranteeing football coach Jimbo Fisher as of Jan. 1, according to information obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

Penn State head coach James Franklin walks off the field following a win over Rutgers on Nov. 20, 2021.
Penn State head coach James Franklin walks off the field following a win over Rutgers on Nov. 20, 2021.

Franklin also will be eligible for up to $1 million in incentive bonuses annually.

DATABASE: College football head coach salaries

After repeatedly refusing to address rumors about a contract and his future in recent weeks, Franklin offered this through a prepared statement late Tuesday afternoon:

"Penn State's future is bright, and I'm honored to continue to serve as your head football coach. Nine weeks ago, the administration approached me about making a long-term investment in our football program. This prompted numerous conversations outlining the resources needed to be competitive at a level that matches the expectations and history of Penn State. What's most evident from those conversations is the importance of our student-athletes' success both on and off the field."

Franklin was currently in the second year of a six-year contract he signed in 2020. That deal guaranteed at least $38.2 million through 2025. He was scheduled to make $7 million this year, including a $500,000 retention bonus payable Dec. 31 and a $1 million loan for a life insurance premium. Franklin spent this season affirming his commitment to Penn State as he continually to be mentioned as a candidate for other high-profile coaching jobs. He did just that again earlier on Tuesday, during his regular, in-season press conference.

“I think I have shown my loyalty and commitment over eight years. Obviously, this is much more complex than a yes or no question I get in these press conferences. I know a lot of coaches handle it differently, but when I speak, I want to be able to speak in detail, and I want to be able to know exactly what’s going on.

“So you guys keep asking me these questions. It’s not a simple yes or no answer. I think I have displayed and showed my commitment and loyalty over the last eight years.”

Contributing: Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY

This article originally appeared on York Daily Record: James Franklin, Penn State deal: Football coach extended for 10 years