Penn State Sues Former Defensive Coordinator For $891,856 Over Breach Of Contract

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Penn State is suing former defensive coordinator Bob Shoop for $891,856, claiming he breached his contract by not paying the school back after he resigned to take an SEC gig a year ago.

Shoop accepted the same position at Tennessee in January 2016—two years and a month before his three-year contract with the Nittany Lions was due to expire. According to the section of his Penn State contract concerning a premature departure, Shoop was responsible for paying 50 percent of his base salary back to Penn State should he resign to take a job elsewhere before completing his contract with the Nittany Lions.


The stipulation would only be dropped if Shoop accepted a head coaching position. Despite the language of the contract—both Shoop’s contract and the lawsuit can be viewed in full at the bottom of this post—Shoop’s legal team told Penn State he does not intend to pay back the school, according to the lawsuit.


Shoop signed a three-year deal worth $1.150 million per year ($245,000 in base salary and and $905,000 in supplemental pay) at Tennessee that required the coach to take responsibility for any payments he owed past employers.

The 50-year-old coach joined the Volunteers after following Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin to State College in 2014. In his first year, Penn State ranked second in the nation in total defense and allowed just 17.7 points per game; the following season, Shoop’s squad finished 14th in total defense. His recent stop in Knoxville has not gone quite as smoothly—Tennessee finished 109th in total defense this past season and ranked 73rd overall after allowing 29.3 points per game.

Penn State is seeking $891,856 of base salary, accrued interest, and court fees. The case was previously filed in Centre County Court; it was discovered Monday when the school had the case moved to U.S. Middle District Court, according to PennLive.

The lawsuit and Shoop’s contract with Penn State can be viewed in full below.