Every year, as the college football regular season nears its end, rumors begin swirling of what big name coaches might be on the move. This year is no different as Penn State head coach James Franklin sees himself cemented in the middle of plenty of rumors.
This past week, one big rumor that has been going around was connecting Franklin with the USC coaching job. It seems a bit premature for that as Clay Helton is still the head coach for USC but is on a very hot seat.
If Helton is fired, would the Trojans make an attempt to poach Franklin from Penn State and move him to southern California? When asked about those rumors, Franklin had a very typical answer.
“It’s that time of year where all this stuff happens. As you guys know, like always, we are focused on Maryland, completely 100 percent. I don’t think it’s fair or right to even to be talking about that job from everything I understand about it. But we’re completely focused on Maryland.” said Franklin during this past Tuesday’s press conference.
That’s a very on-brand quote for Franklin and he really didn’t do anything to negate those rumors. He is right that it is not fair to talk about that job yet since Helton has not been fired and the season isn’t over yet.
Following criticisms of his answer from Tuesday’s press conference, Franklin released this statement re-affirming his intentions to stay at Penn State.
“In an attempt, a failed attempt, to try to keep the focus on Maryland, I got asked a question about another school and tried to keep the focus on Maryland like I always do, that didn’t go over very well. But obviously, have all the plans in the world to be here and be here for a long time. So, I just wanted to add that, because it became something I did not want it to be (or) intend it to be.” Franklin said.
Obviously, the USC job is very intriguing. Would Franklin really leave everything he has built at Penn State? The Trojans are still years away from competing for a conference championship, and Penn State is right on the doorstep of being “elite.”
Plus, if Franklin were to leave, that whole “not yet elite” press conference from September would be left for naught. It just doesn’t seem like there is anything that could pull Franklin away from Happy Valley.
There are also some logistical things making it hard for Franklin to leave Penn State. He just agreed to a contract extension last season and if he were to leave for another school or the NFL, he would owe Penn State money.
When you take all of those things into consideration, it makes it hard to believe that Franklin will be coaching anywhere other than Penn State in 2019. He has too much invested in this program to possibly up and move 3,000 miles across the country.
So rest easy Penn State fans, Coach Franklin is not going anywhere.
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