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Penn State Football: Franklin Comments on New Contract

by on December 08, 2019 6:15 PM

Penn State coach James Franklin offered up his first public comments about his recently announced contract extension on Sunday during his Cotton Bowl conference call.

As fans may have been able to guess, Franklin's negotiation interests were less about his personal bottom line and more about certain areas around the program. The contract, which has not been signed with Franklin on the recruiting trail, has yet to be released. The new deal would keep Franklin in State College through the 2025 season.

Historically, Penn State has not released information about assistant coaches' salaries beyond information required by state law. The university has previously released basic contract information for Franklin and his predecessor, Bill O"Brien, and is expected to do so once Franklin's newest deal is signed.

“For us, really what the contract is about is consistency and then it’s about taking some areas that we think we need to take the next step in,” Franklin said. "A lot of conversations with me, and [Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics] Sandy Barbour, and [university President] Eric Barron, and also our [Board of Trustees]. It’s the whole package, and one of the things I’m so excited about Penn State is, we align with that. Winning is really important, but it’s so much more than wins here. To talk through all these things, and continue to make our university proud and community proud and our lettermen proud; we continue to chip away at it and make significant progress."

Franklin also noted that an extension allows him to assure recruits that he will be on campus for their entire career. While this can be a hollow promise in an ever transient coaching profession, an extension at least puts those kinds of assurances on paper as entirely possible.

And for a coach who has endured a small but vocal minority of fans disappointed with the 2019 season, the positive response Franklin received following Friday's news did not go overlooked.

“We have a bunch of recruits on campus today, and that’s been a major point of conversation, recruits knowing that I have a contact that is going to last throughout their career," Franklin said. "Whenever we get a new commitment, I tweet out ‘We are better,’ and it was really cool to see people tweeting that out with a connection to my contract. That was really cool and meant a lot to me and my wife.”

Penn State is slated to play No. 17 Memphis in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 28 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

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