The crippling sanctions handed down by the NCAA against Penn State Monday kicked in a clause of Nittany Lions football coach Bill O'Brien's contract that extends his deal for another four years.

O'Brien, the former offensive coordinator for the NFL's New England Patriots, agreed to succeed legendary coach Joe Paterno at Penn State in January following the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.

As a result of the scandal, the NCAA announced devastating sanctions Monday to Penn State, including a four-year bowl ban, a $60 million fine and the loss of dozens of scholarships.

O'Brien had a clause in his five-year contract that adds the same number of years to the deal as the bowl ban, according to The Collegian, Penn State's student newspaper.

"The agreement, which was signed by O'Brien and acting Athletic Director David Joyner on Jan. 6, states: 'Any sanction by the NCAA of a) loss of scholarships or b) bowl eligibility due to the actions of the previous staff or lack of institutional control prior to 2012 will immediately result in an automatic extension of coach's contract at 2016 total compensation and bonus package in years equal to the number of years of the sanctions,'" Collegian staff writer Stephen Pianovich reported.

O'Brien's contract has a $950,000 base salary in the first year along with $1 million annually from television and ad revenue and $350,000 from Penn State's deal with Nike, the paper reported.

News of how Penn State's sanctions affected O'Brien's contract came as the football program tries to keep its players. Under the NCAA sanctions, any Penn State player is allowed to transfer to another school for football without losing a year of eligibility.

O'Brien said he hasn't heard of any of his players planning on leaving the embattled school, adding he is anxious to move the football program forward.

''The sanctions are what they are. It's time to get up and get going," he said, according to the Associated Press.

One of the most highly sought-after Penn State football players is junior running back Silas Redd, who led the Nittany Lions in rushing last season.

Redd is being heavily recruited by USC. The running back reportedly hasn't made up his mind about transferring, but it's widely believed he'll either head to Southern California or stay with Penn State.

USC is among the favorites to win the BCS National Championship, and the prospect of playing for a contending team may sway Redd to transfer, according to ESPN's Joe Schad.