James Franklin, Penn State football coach, is aware of possible distractions regarding his future with the program. However, he hasn't seen these affect his team despite their recent on-field struggles.
Since September's opening of the USC coaching vacancy, Franklin has been associated with it. LSU also mentioned Franklin as a possible candidate, after Ed Orgeron announced earlier this month that he would not be returning to the job in 2022.
In his eighth year at Penn State, Franklin said Tuesday that speculation over his future had not been brought up in conversations with players or staff members on the team's leadership board.
Franklin stated, "We've kept things very straight." "There are things that we discuss in great detail inside our building with our family, the players, and the staff. We do our best to achieve that goal. Over my eight years here, we have done a good job at that. We will continue to do so. There are things we can control, and there are things we can't see from the outside. This is a story that has happened many times, and we try our best to keep it focused.
Franklin is now 65-30 at Penn State. He has a Big Ten title in 2016 and three AP top-10 finishes between 2016 and 2019. Franklin was awarded a contract through 2025 in February 2020 that will pay him $5.5 million. Penn State was 4-5 last season. However, it started 5-0 this year, and rose to No. 4 nationally, before losing to then-No. 3 Iowa and unranked Illinois
The 20th-ranked Nittany Lions will visit No. 5 Ohio State Saturday night
Franklin answered Tuesday's question about Penn State and said that he had been asked the question many times. ... "I believe I have shown my commitment over the past eight years to this university as well as this community."
On Tuesday, Franklin also addressed him about his recent change of agencies from Athletes (Trace Armstrong), to Jimmy Sexton (Creative Artists Agency). He said that this had happened over the summer, but was reported this week. He was also asked about Eric Barron (university president) and Sandy Barbour (athletic director), whose contracts expire in 2023.
Franklin stated, "There have been many unusual circumstances, the timing of my coming to Penn State, and I took the job here without knowing who the president or AD would be." They were both interim at that time. Eric has done an amazing job. We all came together at a difficult time in Penn State's history, and we have all worked well together.
"Obviously, you want a good idea of what the future holds, so I had tremendous faith in Matt Schuyler, our chairman of the board. I've got tremendous faith in our leadership."