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James Franklin to be guest at State of the Union Address

James Franklin AP

Just a couple of weeks into his tenure as Penn State’s 16th fulltime head coach, James Franklin is beginning to realize some of the perks that come with being a part of the Happy Valley football family.

The office of U.S. Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson announced Tuesday morning that the Nittany Lions coach will be the Republican’s guest at tonight’s State of the Union Address.  Rep. Thompson, a PSU graduate, attempted to tie Franklin’s recent hiring to the annual shindig on Capitol Hill.

“With the beginning of a new year, we are filled with a sense of optimism and possibility. The State of the Union offers us the chance to reflect upon the previous year and provides us with a preview of the challenges and opportunities that we face together,” Rep. Thompson said in a statement. “Given these sentiments, it’s an honor to have Coach Franklin as my guest for this occasion. …

“As a proud Penn State alumnus and a life-long Centre County resident, I would like to take this opportunity to offer my congratulations to Coach Franklin on being named as head coach of the Nittany Lions and to welcome him and his family to Happy Valley.”

Jan. 11, Penn State officially confirmed that it had pried Franklin, who grew up in the state, away from Vanderbilt.

“I am grateful and very appreciative of Rep. Glenn Thompson’s invitation to attend the President’s State of the Union Address,” said Franklin, who was named Penn State’s 16th head football coach on Jan. 11. “I look forward to hearing the President’s vision for 2014 and beyond and what we, as citizens of the greatest union in the world, can do to help move our nation forward.”

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9 Responses to “James Franklin to be guest at State of the Union Address”
  1. dhlions says: Jan 28, 2014 10:24 AM

    Like a boss.

  2. mattacc31 says: Jan 28, 2014 10:29 AM

    No motives against Penn State or Franklin but inviting a football coach, especially a very new one to that school, to the state of the union just seems strange to me unless Thompson has a prior relationship with Franklin

  3. Bob says: Jan 28, 2014 10:31 AM

    Just a politician grandstanding to his constituents.

  4. youcantmakemepickausername says: Jan 28, 2014 10:53 AM

    I believe i saw some rumors on one of the sites i go to for PSU news that Jay Paterno is considering running for Thompson’s seat. It may have nothing to do with Thompson inviting Franklin to the State of the Union, but interesting connection, this being a college football site and all.

  5. thraiderskin says: Jan 28, 2014 11:12 AM

    Doesn’t seem weird to me… a PSU alum wants to take the new ball coach with him to a big event. Seems fairly benign to me, but then again I’m not looking for an issue that doesn’t exist.

  6. stoicpaisano says: Jan 28, 2014 11:47 AM

    Even politicians are jock sniffers.

    I wonder if Franklin will judge the quality of Thompson’s wife when deciding whether or not to enter a working relationship with the Representative? The coach does it for his assistants.

  7. mogogo1 says: Jan 28, 2014 12:57 PM

    Do other coaches typically attend? I’m not seeing what special significance there is to James Franklin.

  8. lbijake says: Jan 28, 2014 1:11 PM

    As a Penn State alum, I see no big deal. Politician shilling for votes, absolutely. Coach getting national exposure to assist in recruiting, done deal. This is America where nothing is done for altruistic reasons. There is always a quid pro quo. Been done before and will certainly be done again. Years ago Bear Bryant brought Alabama State Troopers to away games and now every coach emulates that. All the world is but a stage. No harm no foul.

  9. kosarkid says: Jan 28, 2014 4:00 PM

    He’s going to be disappointed when he reallizes that it’s not the coach who was running the pedophile ring.

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