Penn State head coach James Franklin has a busy schedule this month. As if a 17-stop bus tour with a handful of other Penn State coaches and his own assistant coaches was not enough, Franklin will give a commencement speech at his alma mater this weekend.
Franklin, a former quarterback at Division 2 East Stroudsburg University, will be back on his old stomping grounds on Saturday to address the school’s Class of 2014.
“I’m hoping to grab their attention and say a few things that they’ll remember,” Franklin said to The Pocono Record. “I don’t want be one of those guys who stands up there talking who no one’s paying attention to. I’m going to talk to them from the heart and be very open and honest with them. Maybe give them a few things that have been important to me since I’ve left East Stroudsburg and also let everybody know how appreciative I am of what East Stroudsburg has done for me.”
Franklin has referenced East Stroudsburg a number of times since being named the head coach of Penn State earlier this season. The Pennsylvania native seems to take great pride in his roots and has been supportive of ESU in recent months since returning a bit closer to home. The opportunity to address the students at his alma mater was not something Franklin was going to pass on.
“I really wanted to share some things that I’ve learned in my 19 years since I graduated from East Stroudsburg and especially some things I wish I would’ve known in the five years after graduating that I’ve been able to figure out over the rest of the time,” Franklin said.
Via social media, Jim Harbaugh has attempted to walk back some of his strong talk.
Monday, the Michigan head coach was asked to comment on one of his former San Francisco 49er players, Colin Kaepernick, who kicked up quite the controversy this past week by sitting down during the playing of the national anthem to protest what he believes to be the mistreatment of African-Americans in this country. Not surprisingly, the outspoken Harbaugh didn’t mince many words.
As it turns out, Pankey won’t be alone on the suspension sidelines as WVMetroNews.com is reporting that linebacker Xavier Preston will be suspended for the opener as well. No reason has been given for the punitive measure, and the football program has yet to confirm it.
The third-year sophomore would be eligible to return for the Sept. 10 Youngstown State game.
Preston played in 13 games last season. He has been described as the heir apparent to Nick Kwiatkowski at outside linebacker for the Mountaineers.
Jim Harbaugh doesn’t respect Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit anthem out
The latest sports controversy has reached college football’s borders.
Colin Kaepernick, as you might have heard, kicked up quite the controversy last week by declining to stand during the playing of the National Anthem prior to a San Francisco 49ers preseason game. The former Nevada quarterback’s words explaining to sit the anthem out served to add fuel to the raging firestorm.
“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
Kaepernick has spent his entire NFL career with the 49ers, and his first coach at the professional level was Jim Harbaugh. Now the head coach at Michigan, Harbaugh was asked Monday about Kaepernick, who helped lead Harbaugh’s club to the NFC championship game in 2013, and his decision to sit on the bench while the anthem played.
“I acknowledge his right to do that,” Harbaugh said according mlive.com. “But I don’t respect the motivation or the action.”
While more forceful and tinged with personal opinion, Harbaugh’s comments are somewhat in line those made by a former Oregon Ducks head coach who’s now in charge of the 49ers.
“We recognize his right to do that,” Chip Kelly said according to the Sacramento Bee. “It’s not our right to tell him not to do something. That’s his right as a citizen.”