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Penn State Football: Franklin Responds To Compliance Concerns

by on September 22, 2015 2:30 PM

While Penn State happily announced on Monday that the NCAA appointed and independent athletics integrity monitor Charles P. Scheeler would conclude his annual reporting two years early, Scheeler's final filing was not without one noteworthy mention some 27 pages into the document.

"(There is) evidence of increased tension, and a mutual lack of trust, between the head football coach [James Franklin] and the university's athletics compliance staff." Scheeler wrote.

When asked to comment on the report on Tuesday, James Franklin was hardly specific although positive about the progress being made moving forward.

"The way I look at it is, I think we have healthy dialogue, a back and forth with the compliance office," Franklin said. "I look forward to continue to strengthen those relationships, representing Penn State the right way, representing Penn State football the right way, and building a program that everybody can be proud of.

"President [Eric Barron] talked about that tension, that when it's the right way, it's a positive, and we look at it the same way."

Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour also acknowledge the report in a statement released on Monday, which noted to importance of "Improving communication between all 31 sports programs and our compliance operation, as well as across all functions."

While alarming for a program only just beginning to surface from sanctions the brief mention of the issue likely equates to an equally small cause for concern. Something even Scheeler himself appears to acknowledge in his own report.

"All parties acknowledge the problem," he wrote. "Equally important, all parties have expressed a commitment to improving the communications and relationships between one another."

Ultimately actions will speak louder than commitments, but considering Franklin's tenure has so far gone on without any major off the field issues be it legal or NCAA related, there is no evidence to suggest that will change. If anything the entire issue may very well be the result of a quickly transitioning and rapidly restructuring athletic department.

“[Scheeler] mentioned the conflict between the compliance officer and football and even noted that the process is very good and communication occurs and the issues get solved,” Barron told StateCollege.com “From a governance standpoint, that makes me feel very comfortable, because I know there are people making sure we’re doing this right and it helps me focus on other aspects of the university’s mission.”



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