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Penn State Football: Franklin Not On Hot Seat According To Barbour

by on September 29, 2016 12:11 PM

Earlier this week Penn State coach James Franklin said that he "want(s) everybody to take a deep breath" and according to the Altoona Mirror that's sentiment is shared by athletic director Sandy Barbour.

“James is not on any hot seat,” Barbour reportedly told the Mirror while speaking at the Blair County Chamber of Commerce WE-LEaD program on Wednesday.

"When Penn State is where we ought to be, where we should be, where we're all striving to be, we absolutely should go toe to toe with anyone in the country," Barbour added. "Clearly we're not there. We're not a finished product. I don't think anybody thought we would be a finished product four games into the season.

"Was Saturday disappointing? Of course it was. But no one's more disappointed than our coaching staff and our student-athletes in our football program. So I certainly understand where our fans are coming from and the disappointment." 

While there has been no indication that Penn State's third year head coach is actually on the hot seat, fan speculation, perhaps largely out of disappointment following the Nittany Lions' 49-10 loss to No. 4 Michigan on Saturday was rampant that Franklin would soon face pressure to win.

It's a feeling Franklin understands, and despite back-to-back winning seasons, something still very present with the day-to-day fan feedback.

“I have stated before that there's a process to this,” Franklin said on Tuesday. “There's a process from the time we arrived to where we're going. I think I see strides in people that come to practice every single day, see strides in the people that are around our program, in every aspect, the professors that come as the guest coach programs with us, the administration that's around us, at practice, in meetings, academically, athletically, socially, spiritually, the whole package, there's progress being made.”

"Is there times where we all want the progress to happen a lot faster? No doubt about it. But I think that's also what makes Penn State special is there's very high expectations here. There's a tremendous amount of pride. I get email after email after email that talks about people's pride in this place and how much they care and how much passion and how supportive they are."

Penn State and Franklin will have a chance to prove that progress is being made over the next to weekends. The Nittany Lions are slated to host 3-0 Minnesota on Saturday and potentially still undefeated Maryland the following week. Wins in either or both games would go a long way towards steadying a ship that has hit rough seas over the past seven days.

And a long way towards cooling down a seat that perhaps was never warm in the first place.

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