James Franklin Still Frustrated with Big Ten's Communication Efforts

Mark Wogenrich

Penn State coach James Franklin remains frustrated with the Big Ten's communication efforts, telling ESPN radio Thursday that he's still looking for answers about the decision to postpone fall sports a month later.

Appearing on the Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin Show, Franklin also said that his football team is not among the Penn State programs whose practices were paused this week after a rise in COVID-19 positive results.

"Fortunately, based on our guys' discipline and based on our guys' decision-making and a little bit of fortune, a little bit of luck, we’ve been in a pretty good place really since June," Franklin told hosts Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams and Zubin Mehenti. "That’s not us. That's not our program [being paused]."

Since the Big Ten postponed fall sports Aug. 11, Franklin has questioned not the decision but the process surrounding it and following it. Franklin said on ESPN Radio that, a month later, he's still unsure why it was made then and what comes next.

"We just haven’t gotten great communication from the beginning," Franklin said. "We never really have fully been told or understood why the season was shut down in the first place, and then there hasn’t been a whole lot of communication since. We’ve had meetings, but I‘m talking about kind of really understanding why and what and how we got here."

Franklin said he's unsure what the Big Ten's next steps toward a season will be, adding that, "we're dependent on the Big Ten to drive this thing forward."

The Penn State coach also said that increased positive cases of COVID-19 among campus athletic teams have resulted from activities away from practice. Penn State Athletics on Wednesday reported 48 new cases of COVID-19 among athletes but said it had no evidence that the virus was transmitted during workouts or practice.

"The problems have nothing to do with football," Franklin said. "... It's been behaviors away from football, so that would lead you to the argument that, wouldn't it make sense to keep sports going to keep people busy? Because everything I've heard is, it's been the actions away from the sports that have really caused the issues."

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