James Franklin is part of Penn State's nine-member group that will join the newly formed Big Ten Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition. Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren announced the coalition earlier this month following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the ensuing nationwide demonstrations.
The Big Ten also launched a voter-registration initiative that it has been planning since February.
"The events in our country and around the world during the past few months have strengthened my fundamental belief in our need to develop tangible and actionable efforts in a collective manner and provide viable solutions addressing the issues of hate and racism in our society," Warren said in a statement. "We have the distinct opportunity and responsibility through our Coalition to continually encourage, educate and empower our student-athletes as we embrace transparent and much-needed dialogue regarding meaningful issues that have impacted race relations for many years."
Five coaches will represent Penn State along with two student-athletes and Athletic Director Sandy Barbour. Basketball player Myles Dread and swimmer Olivia Jack will represent the athletes.
The coaches joining Franklin are Jeff Cook (men's soccer), Missy Doherty (women's lacrosse), Carolyn Kieger (women's basketball) and Tim Murphy (women's swimming & diving). Dennis Scanlon, Penn State's faculty athletics representative, is part of Penn State's group as well.
No football players are part of Penn State's representation.
Each of the Big Ten's 14 universities will be represented on the coalition. In addition, the group will draw representation from prominent Big Ten alumni, the Big Ten Network and conference administration.
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