Big payday for James Franklin at PSU


James Franklin is expected to receive a contract from Penn State worth up to $4.5 million a year, according to a source, making him the Big Ten's second-highest-paid coach behind Ohio State's Urban Meyer.

Former coach Bill O'Brien made $3.82 million a year while Franklin reportedly made about $3 million a year at Vanderbilt.

Penn State has scheduled a news conference for 4:15 p.m. ET Saturday to make a "major announcement." Vanderbilt, meanwhile, has called a team meeting for early Saturday morning, a source told ESPN's Josina Anderson.

The Penn State compensation committee is scheduled to meet in a closed session at 8:30 a.m. ET Saturday to discuss a "matter of compensation," school spokeswoman Lisa Powers said. Sources told ESPN that meeting is about Franklin, who spent the past three seasons at Vanderbilt.

Powers said that following the meeting a brief public session would be held. The committee members are chairwoman Linda B. Strumpf, Kathleen L. Casey, Mark H. Dambly, Karen B. Peetz and Paul H. Silvis.

A source told ESPN on Thursday that Franklin would not officially accept the Penn State job until the contract was approved Saturday.

Franklin was given a contract extension in December 2012 designed to keep him at Vanderbilt for years to come. Asked whether the Commodores have worked to restructure Franklin's deal since the end of the 2013 season, Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams said they have an ongoing process to remain competitive.

Sources said Franklin met with Penn State officials Wednesday night in Destin, Fla. He will end up succeeding Bill O'Brien, who was introduced as coach of the Houston Texans last week after two seasons with the Nittany Lions.

Earlier this week, ESPN reported that Penn State's leading candidates were Franklin, Miami's Al Golden and former Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman interviewed with the committee.

Penn State interim coach Larry Johnson said Thursday night that he hasn't been told anything about his future.

"I'm still the interim coach until a new coach is named," Johnson said. "As of right now, I'm continuing to do my part."