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Report: New buyout figures for Nits' O'Brien

According to ESPN, contract revision will make it less costly for NFL team to hire Bill O'Brien away from Penn State.

PENN STATE'S Bill O'Brien has had his contract reworked to lower the buyout an NFL team would have to pay to lure the coach away from the university, according to a report.

ESPN reported that it obtained a copy of the revised contract, which show O'Brien changed the formula for his buyout and reduced the price of an NFL buyout from $19.33 million last year to $6.48 million for this year. The buyout another school would have to pay to hire O'Brien away from Penn State is $11.08 million.

The network, citing a source, reported that a Penn State official said O'Brien's representatives have approached the school about further reducing the NFL buyout. The source said it was unclear whether the university was willing to amend the contract again.

Last year, O'Brien's name was mentioned for several NFL job, including the Eagles.


* Texas A&M standout freshman linebacker Darian Claiborne has been arrested on two drug possession charges.

Claiborne was arrested yesterday on charges of possession of a dangerous drug and possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, according to the Brazos County (Texas) Jail website.

He was released less than 2 hours after posting $6,000 bond.

The Aggies face Duke in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31.

* Tulane defensive back Jordan Sullen, who was knocked unconcious by a knee to the head during Saturday night's 24-21 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl, tweeted that he is OK.

"To friends and family: I want to thank you for your thought and prayers over the past 24 hours," Sullen wrote. "I am doing much better."

Sullen was trying to tackle Elijah McGuire when McGuire's knee hit the side of Sullen's helmet, snapping his neck back.

* New USC coach Steve Sarkisian told ESPN Los Angeles that he was planning to ask Ed Orgeron, who went 6-2 as USC's interim head coach, to be part of his coaching staff next season.

Orgeron resigned and left the team after Sarkisian was hired on Dec. 2. Orgeron, who turned around USC's season after Lane Kiffin was fired following a 3-2 start, thought he would get the full-time job after the season.

It is believed that Sarkisian would want Orgeron to be the team's defensive-line coach and recruiting coordinator.

Clay Helton, who served as USC's third coach this season during the Trojans' 45-20 win over Fresno State in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday, is expected to return as the offensive coordinator.

Sarkisian was reportedly interested in hiring Tosh Lupoi, his defenisve-line coach and recruting coordinator at Washington. But that was before news surfaced last week that Lupoi was being investigated for potential rules violations after he allegedly paid for tutoring and online classes for a recruit.

* Texas wide receiver Daje Johnson, offensive tackle Kennedy Estelle and tailback Jalen Overstreet have been ruled academically ineligible to play in the Valero Alamo Bowl, the school announced.

The Longhorns (8-4) face Oregon (10-2) on Dec. 30.