Notebook: James Franklin provides updates during BTN appearance
Shortly after the announcement that the Big Ten would be pursuing a fall season after all, James Franklin made an appearance on the Big Ten Network to talk about the decision and provide updates on Penn State's program.
Franklin said he had been comfortable with all of the protocols before the Big Ten originally canceled the season, and thought it should have been the decision of the players and the families whether or not they would play.
That led him to be an active voice in advocating for a reversal of the decision made by the conference's presidents.
"That's what I was fighting for, is my parents and my players wanted to play based on all the health and welfare policies that we had in place," he said.
"I have eight seniors that I have a responsibility to help those guys chase their dreams.
"Whether it's playing in Beaver Stadium or it's playing in these domes, I don't even know what the schedule looks like right now, but I am fired up and jacked up and so are our guys."
With a clear objective now set as the Big Ten looks to return on October 24, Franklin said he believes the added clarity will be a big boost for his Nittany Lions.
"As a leader you want to be able to provide answers...and I didn't have a whole lot," he said.
Franklin's objective after the cancellation had been to keep his team goal driven despite the uncertainty. He said his practices had been good enough, but now they can be taken to another level.
"It's been more fundamentals, it's been more throwing on air, it's been more scheme walk throughs and stuff like that," he said, adding that he believes there is enough time to add in some contact in practice, which he thinks his team needs.
Franklin did not give a direct answer when he was asked if there was any chance Micah Parsons would change his decision to opt out.
"The thing I think that's been great about our guys and our process is Micah was very communicative the whole time," Franklin said. "We had a lot of conversations with Micah and his family about what he wanted to do and we were unbelievably supportive of him the whole time."
While Pat Freiermuth, who was nearby when Franklin appeared on television, came by at Franklin's urging to announce he hadn't opted out, there was no such surprise in Parsons' case.
"Micah's not as close as downstairs [like Freiermuth]," Franklin joked. "We'll have to reach out and have some fun with Micah.
"We had two different situations and they came out differently."
Franklin made a point to highlight the fact that both he and Freiermuth were wearing masks during their television appearance because they were within six feet of one another.
Franklin added that the Nittany Lions are wearing masks at practice every day, which he said wasn't something everyone is doing.
For Franklin, the goal is to go above and beyond the safety standards and protocols set by the Big Ten and the NCAA.
"It creates a challenge for me because I like to nag everybody constantly to follow these rules," Franklin said. "But I'd rather just do more."
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