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PSU’s Franklin a psycho ready to bring the community back together

James Franklin

The community surrounding Penn State football continues to be a divided one, to an extent. It is a community still largely searching for answers and truth from the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, and you can still find factions demanding for the return of a statue of Joe Paterno and others demanding for complete changes on the board of trustees and so on, some with honestly good intentions and others perhaps lacking priorities. This week former assistant football coaches Jay Paterno and Bill Kenney have filed a new lawsuit against the university regarding the termination of their employment. Two years have now passed since Sandusky’s crimes were handled in the court of law, and the community is starting to return to whatever normal will be.

Looking to steer the ship in the right direction is new head coach James Franklin, who has sparked the program with a new sense of life and motivation, continuing the momentum few thought could be generated under Bill O’Brien and looking to lead the Penn State program through the end of the sanction period. In a one-on-one interview, Franklin explains why he feels he is ready to tackle such a journey.

“I’m so emotional. I’m so passionate. I’m kind of a psycho,” Franklin told The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Joe Juliano. “So, I think a lot of people think, ‘This guy, is he for real?’ “

In his short time at Penn State, after leaving Vanderbilt, Franklin has put together one of the top recruiting classes for 2015 and has won over a fan base by digging into his Pennsylvania roots and declaring a territorial war over the Keystone State as well as the recruiting fertile grounds of New Jersey and Maryland, now considered Big Ten territory. On a spring bus tour of the state and region, Franklin left quite the impression on Penn State fans, and it seems his messages are being received well. Franklin understands the value of Penn State football to the community in State College and throughout the state, and he wants to use that as the resource that continues to heal the fractured community.

More from Franklin, via The Philadelphia Inquirer;

“I believe that football has the ability to bring a community together like nothing else,” he said. “I know I’m biased, I’m a football coach. But I believe football has that special ability.

“Saturday afternoons, people come together to be a part of something bigger than just themselves,” the former Vanderbilt coach said. “So, I think we can hold a special role in that, and I think it’s time.

“The thing that’s always made Penn State special is that we’re family and people are very proud of being a part of this university. And I think it’s time for us to get back to that, get back to being a family. The way I look at it is, let’s put the university first and, more importantly, let’s put the kids first.”

There is something to be said about how the football program could end up being what brings the Penn State community back together, given the national pundits that suggested it be shut down after being perceived as an enabling device for Sandusky and his sick crimes against children. But as with any organization, if the leadership in place has the right frame of mind and has a plan of attack, there should be little stopping it from reaching the finish line.

Is Franklin the leader Penn State’s football program needed? That seems to be the theme of the offseason in State College.

You can read the full one-on-one interview and story with Franklin via The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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7 Responses to “PSU’s Franklin a psycho ready to bring the community back together”
  1. cometkazie says: Jul 23, 2014 11:25 AM

    He seems to be off to a good start and that is good for football in general and PSU in particular.

    All the best.

  2. dhardy8207 says: Jul 23, 2014 12:14 PM

    For the stability of the program, the healing of the community and the students as a whole, I truly hope this endeavor works out well for Franklin and PSU…

  3. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Jul 23, 2014 4:39 PM

    Wow! This posting has been on-line for over 5 hours now and no Trolls have made their usual petty and mean-spirited comments about PSU. Hopefully, it will stay this way. I hope PSU has a very productive year (except against tOSU of course).

  4. thetooloftools says: Jul 23, 2014 7:13 PM

    Some people at Penn State will never move on. It is a house divided. Having said that, winning cures everything. If he can get out of the gate fast and keep momentum, he has a real chance of uniting the Penn State family. If not, they will be calling for his scalp and accusing him of being in over his head.

  5. realfootballfan says: Jul 23, 2014 9:04 PM

    Heard some of that interview his adopted son gave to Oprah. If that doesn’t shame anyone who is trying to talk Paterno’s “legacy” or other nonsensical football topics or as in the case of the people suing because they rightfully got fired, there truly is no hope for them. If people didn’t want to leave their own kids alone with the guy, that speaks volumes. Just sad all around story.

  6. collegefan1984 says: Jul 23, 2014 10:28 PM

    @realfootballfan Haha, you watch Oprah!!!

  7. realfootballfan says: Jul 24, 2014 6:29 AM

    collegefan1984,

    No, I don’t. Heard clips of the interview on a radio show and then checked the rest of it out. Jerry Sanduscky is the scum of the earth for what he did to that boy and others.

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