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James Franklin signs whopping 10-year contract to remain with Penn State

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Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Seen as a top-end candidate for the USC Trojans job, James Franklin had been putting a ton of pressure on Penn State to hand him a lucrative long-term contract.

Boasting an 11-9 record since the start of last season, there’s some who don’t believe Franklin is worth that type of commitment from the powers that be within the Nittany Lions football program.

They disagree. Penn State announced on Tuesday that it has handed Franklin a new 10-year contract that will keep him in Happy Valley through the 2031 campaign.

“Penn State’s James Franklin has agreed to the terms of a new 10-year contract to remain as the head football coach of the Nittany Lions through 2031,” the football program announced, via its official website. “The terms were approved by the Subcommittee on Compensation of the Penn State Board of Trustees today.”

The annual value of said contract is said to be $7 million with Franklin earning potential bonuses based on the performance of the football program. At the very least, he’ll receive $70 million throughout the duration of said contract.

Related: Updated College Football Top 25

James Franklin to stay with Penn State for the long-term

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Nov 13, 2021; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin exits the team tunnel prior to the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports

Franklin, 49, took over as the Penn State head coach back in 2014 after Bill O’Brien moved on to the NFL’s Houston Texans. Remember, that came just a few after the late Joe Paterno had to resign in disgrace due to a sexual abuse scandal.

Since then, Franklin has led the Nittany Lions to a 67-32 record and three bowl wins. That included a Fiesta Bowl victory over Washington to cap an 11-2 2017 campaign.

Reports have indicated that Franklin was a top candidate for the USC job after they fired Clay Helton earlier in the season. He’s also been bandied about as a potential NFL head coach. Obviously, that’s not going to happen any time soon.

“Penn State’s future is bright, and I’m honored to continue to serve as your head football coach,” James Franklin said in a statement following the extension. “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.”