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Penn State Football: Contract Not Yet Signed, Franklin Says No Cause For Concern, Just Red Tape

by on February 05, 2020 4:30 PM

Thursday will mark the two month anniversary of James Franklin and Penn State announcing a verbal agreement to extend the Nittany Lions' head coach through the 2025 season.

According to Franklin, the deal itself has yet to be signed, in turn the reason for Penn State's delay in releasing the details of said contract. Athletic director Sandy Barbour indicated during Penn State's bowl trip to Dallas that she anticipated the contract terms to be made public in early January.

"As you can imagine, these contracts aren't like three pages of notes," Franklin said on Wednesday, holding up his own sheets of paper. "So it's about language and making sure what Penn State is comfortable with and what we're comfortable with, and that takes time. So really I think what Sandy was talking about is there was a verbal agreement made at that time, and then it takes lawyers that get involved and make sure everything is ironed out and both parties are protected, and then it's signed. I think that's going to happen soon."

"But I also know there's some things kind of within Penn State and things like that that I don't kind of know the process, so I don't want to sit here and say a time or a date, but it's agreed upon, and I think it should be here very soon. But that's why. There really was no hold-ups or concerns or issues on either party. It was just kind of going through all the red tape and the verbiage of contracts like that."

Franklin's current contract was set to expire in 2022. He received a three-year, $19.75 million contract extension in 2017 after signing a six-year contract when he was hired in 2014.

While neither party has indicated why the verbal agreement was announced so far ahead of any public release of the details or signing, Franklin's name in the news as a targeted candidate for several jobs and the proximity to the early signing period may have influenced such a decision to proactively control the news cycle.

In turn, Franklin has made three assistant coaching hires and is set to make a fourth in the coming weeks, rarely a sign of any second thoughts.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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