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James Franklin | Center

Team: Penn State Nittany Lions
Age / DOB:  (44) / 2/2/1972

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ESPN's Austin Ward highlighted Penn State HC James Franklin as a coach who will need to jump out to a fast start in 2016.
"With in-state rival Pittsburgh on deck in Week 2," Ward wrote, "the Nittany Lions looking for revenge against Temple in Week 3 following last year’s loss and a difficult trip to Michigan on tap after that, the heat could get cranked all the way up on Franklin in a hurry." Penn State finished with a 7-6 record last season, boosting Franklin's overall record with the Nittany Lions to a lackluster 14-12. Ward warned that "[a] sluggish start might prove to be the beginning of the end for him at Penn State." May 20 - 2:44 PM

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Penn State trustees voted to allow alcohol sales at Beaver Stadium.

The vote passed on Friday. AD Sandy Barbour explained the decision to reporters, saying, "Those engaging in private and premium seating experiences expect hospitality to include alcoholic beverage service, similar to those in comparable facilities in other markets. We believe, because of this, we will find new revenue in the value of the opportunity to purchase alcohol more so than the sale of alcohol itself." At least part of the decision is geared toward drawing non-football events to the university.
May 8 - 12:44 PM

When Penn State plays Georgia in the TaxSlayer Bowl on January 2, they will be facing a team headed up by an interim coach for the fourth time in the 2015 campaign.

Where Penn State goes, interim darkness follows. They've already faced off with three interim coaches in games against Maryland, Illinois and Rutgers. They're 3-0 in those match-ups. Next up, Bryan McClendon and Georgia in the TaxSlayer Bowl. It could be, ahem, a taxing match-up for the viewer. Georgia's offense ranks 73rd in the S&P+ rankings, while Penn State checks in at 56th. The Nittany Lions will enter the bowl on a three-game losing streak in which they've scored just 53 combined points (17.7 on average). The Bulldogs do have a four-game winning streak working, but they've scored a combined 83 points in that stretch (20.75 on average). Taxing, indeed.
Sun, Dec 6, 2015 06:36:00 PM

Penn State HC James Franklin "has been exposed to plenty of NFL concepts throughout his college coaching career and it shows in the diverse offense he runs at Penn State," notes NFL Media.

In addition to his work at the college level, Franklin also spent a season with the Green Bay Packers. Because of these factors, many view Franklin as a future NFL coach. "He's confident enough to make the jump to the pro game, and wouldn't mind firing up an organization that might need somebody to guide a turnaround," wrote College Football 24/7 writer Bryan Fischer. "He's a relatively young guy, which doesn't hurt, either."
Mon, Jun 8, 2015 10:24:00 PM

The Big Ten voted to end Penn State’s bowl revenue ban a year early.

The decision means the school can accept the $4.5 million in 2014-15 bowl revenue that would have been withheld because of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Penn State forfeited roughly $5 million combined because of the sanction in the previous two years and it donated its $2.6 million from the '11-'12 cycle to child-abuse organizations. "I am obviously very pleased to report that the council agreed to provide us with our full share of the bowl revenue," Penn State president Eric Barron said in a statement. "This money is used to support student-athletes and our programs, and some things have been delayed due to the ban. Obviously, it is much needed and welcome. I thank my fellow presidents."
Mon, Jun 8, 2015 06:47:00 PM

Less than a week prior to Penn State receiving their sanctions from the NCAA, a "majority" of the executive committee favored handing down the "death penalty," according to the AP's Mark Scolforo.

The death penalty would have shut down the Penn State football program for multiple years. Keep in mind, the sanctions were only announced in July of 2012. SMU received such a penalty in 1987 but returned a few years later despite the sanctions impacting the school for years to come. The NCAA has already set an end date for Penn State's current penalties, and allowed them to be draft-eligible this season.
Fri, Nov 14, 2014 11:06:00 AM

A sitting athletic director in the Big Ten told over the summer that Penn State would join Ohio State as a co-team-to-beat in the conference once it had a couple non-sanctioned recruiting classes under its belt.

The NCAA, of course, restored Penn State's full allotment of scholarships for next season and lifted the school's bowl ban on Monday, leading to a huge celebration on the streets of campus. This is what's trio of Daniel Jeremiah, Bucky Brooks and Charles Davis had to say about the AD's assertion that the Nittany Lions will soon join the Buckeyes as "haves" in the Big 10: "That's a strong statement given the way Michigan State has positioned itself as a Big Ten powerhouse and how Wisconsin seems to always be in the mix, but we could see things playing out the way the source foresees. Ohio and Pennsylvania are two very high-powered states for football, which pays off in recruiting for those state schools. They both have great bases to build from, and great recruiters at head coach in Urban Meyer and James Franklin."
Wed, Sep 10, 2014 09:56:00 PM

The Sporting News reports that Penn State could have their postseason ban lifted before the 2015 season.

"Two sources within the NCAA say Penn State, if it continues to 'reach and go beyond' benchmarks set by the NCAA in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, will have a 'strong case' to get its final year of postseason probation lifted," wrote Matt Hayes. "As early as next week, George Mitchell, Penn State’s athletics integrity monitor, will release his second annual report on the state of the university’s athletics programs. The NCAA last year restored some scholarships after Mitchell’s first report that, according to one NCAA source, 'reached well beyond expectations.'" Amongst a laundry list of penalties, Penn State was issued a four-year postseason ban prior to the 2012 season. It wouldn't be a surprise if the NCAA lifted the last year of that ban for good behavior.
Wed, Aug 27, 2014 06:42:00 PM

Penn State head coach James Franklin installed the Wildcat into the Nittany Lions' offense.

PSU's new coach envisions WR Geno Lewis and lightning-fast RB Bill Belton creating matchup nightmares for Big 10 defenses. Of course, Franklin mentioned the need to identify a speedster who can at least give defenses the allusion of a passing threat. He'll look to do so in summer camp.
Fri, Jun 6, 2014 09:05:00 PM

James Franklin's new contract at Penn State is worth up to $4.5 million annually, according to ESPN's Brett McMurphy.

That would make Franklin the Big Ten's second-highest-paid coach behind Ohio State's Urban Meyer. Franklin will officially be announced as the Nittany Lions' new coach on Saturday, taking over for Bill O'Brien, who was named coach of the Houston Texans last week.
Fri, Jan 10, 2014 11:26:00 PM

Vanderbilt's James Franklin will be Penn State's next head coach, according to CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman.

The two have been linked for quite some time, but there appeared to be some delay in the past few days. Franklin turned Vanderbilt into a winning program, and, despite inheriting restrictions at Penn State, he is expected to do the same with the Nittany Lions.
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 11:52:00 AM

Penn State has offered Vanderbilt's James Franklin their head coaching job, according to the Times-Tribune.

Franklin "was offered the head coaching position during an hours-long meeting with the university's search committee in Destin, Fla," The Times-Tribune writes. "Both sources, who spoke on conditions of anonymity because no official announcement had been made, said Franklin is expected to either accept or reject the job today." Frankline turned down an interview with the Washington Redskins, so he will likely be coaching at Vanderbilt or Penn State last year.
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 09:24:00 AM

Football Scoop reports that on Tuesday night Vanderbilt wanted to match the offer HC James Franklin received from Penn State.

According to the report, Penn State thought the move was a done deal until this happened. Football Scoop adds Vanderbilt officials "were not pleased." Apparently Penn State is now set to interview 49ers OC Greg Roman, who was a candidate for the Vandy job before it was offered to Franklin.
Wed, Jan 8, 2014 11:31:00 AM

Football Scoop reports Penn State will offer their head coaching position to Vanderbilt's James Franklin.

The same site expects Franklin to accept the offer. Penn State reportedly set their sights on Al Golden in the last week, but the Miami head coach is staying with the Hurricanes. Franklin has drawn plenty of buzz in the last few weeks and turned Vanderbilt into a winning program in short time.
Tue, Jan 7, 2014 12:04:00 PM

The Browns and Redskins have requested to interview Vanderbilt's James Franklin for the head coaching openings, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

It was also reported that Franklin interviewed with the Texans, but the team kept the news under wraps. Franklin has done a great job at Vanderbilt, turning a lifeless program into a winning team. We doubt he gets an NFL job this year, but Franklin could emerge at a larger school shortly.
Sat, Jan 4, 2014 12:00:00 PM