Her current five-year deal is set to expire Aug. 31, 2019.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Sandy Barbour said Monday that she has reached agreement on a new contract and plans to finish her career as athletic director at Penn State.
Barbour recently worked out a new deal with Penn State president Eric Barron. The Penn State Board of Trustees must approve it before it’s official. Her current five-year contract is set to expire on Aug. 31, 2019.
“There was no urgency for me and no urgency for Dr. Barron,” she said. “We knew it would get done. We have come to an agreement in the last few weeks.
“I’ve told you all before that this is my last stop. Where would I want to go that’s a better opportunity, that’s a better fit for me than Penn State? This next contract will certainly help me do that.”
Barbour also addressed several other topics during a 30-minute interview with Penn State football beat writers and broadcasters.
Salaries of assistants: Penn State head coach James Franklin has long campaigned for increased salaries for his assistant coaches to remain competitive with the elite programs in the country.
“I think we’ve done exactly that,” Barbour said. “We were a little bit behind last year. We’ve already made some significant moves with our current staff. I think we’re in good position. We’re in very good position.”
Improving facilities: Renovations to the first floor of the Lasch Building is close to completion with improvements to the second floor on the docket next.
“We’ve raised and spent over $30 million on Lasch itself,” Barbour said. “We’ve probably got another $30 million to do here in pretty short order. Obviously, Holuba Hall, the outdoor area and the outdoor practice fields are another thing. That’s one of the things where the pace has picked up.”
Football parking: Penn State had issues with its grass parking fields around Beaver Stadium this season primarily because of a record rainfall in State College.
Several parking lots were closed for several games, and fans had to park in satellite lots and ride a bus to games.
“Nobody wants more for our fans to continue to have the best game-day environment in the world,” Barbour said. “We’ve got the best tailgating there is, and it’s part of the passion. The weather, there’s not much we can do about it.
“We’re left to make as many adjustments as we possibly can.”
She said paving more lots is not an option because the grass fields are used for intramural sports and for agricultural purposes, and they’re not owned by the athletic department. Parking in satellite lots will continue when lots are closed.
“Not ideal,” Barbour said. “I totally understand that. But in terms of the tools in our toolkit and our ability to take care of our fans, those are the things we can do.”
Supporting Chambers: Penn State men’s basketball coach Patrick Chambers received a contract extension in the spring after the Nittany Lions won the NIT.
Penn State, however, is off to a 7-6 start, including 0-2 in Big Ten play.
“We’ve stepped up our schedule, and we’ve got a young team,” Barbour said. “Are there maybe some disappointments? Sure. Absolutely. But all in all, I’m excited about going into the core of the Big Ten season and seeing what these guys can do.”
She was asked about her commitment to Chambers.
“I’m not generally committed,” she said. “I’m fully committed to Pat and his leadership of our program.”
Alternate events: Barbour said Penn State continues to explore the possibility of bringing international soccer, the NHL’s Winter Classic and more concerts to Beaver Stadium.
“We keep working on all of those,” she said. “We’re committed to Beaver Stadium being a seven-day-a-year venue. But we continue to pursue that. That hasn’t gone away.”
Contact Rich Scarcella: 610-371-5070 or [email protected]
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