In what shouldn’t come as a surprise, James Franklin didn’t say much about the allegations against the Penn State coach and the football program this past weekend by defensive end Bryce Mostella.
In a lengthy Twitter thread posted Saturday night, Mostella accused Penn State of neglect, saying that the program showed a disregard for his mental health, instead focusing on his physical shape and performance.
Mostella said that this contributed to anxiety and depression, both of which he has been diagnosed with.
“Every encounter, (Franklin) insisted that I didn’t want to be at Penn State and didn’t want to play football, contrary to what I continuously told him,” Mostella wrote. “Around August, I had a meeting where he told me if I didn’t gain an unspecified amount of weight by December, that I would be kicked off the team and lose my scholarship.
“That moment began the darkest phase of my life. A phase I still am not out of. 11/3/21 I was hospitalized for suicidal ideation. I had lost 30 lbs from August and weighed the lowers I had been since my freshman year of high school.”
Additionally, Mostella wrote that his mother reached out to Franklin and defensive line coach John Scott but never heard back from Franklin. He noted that Scott lied to his mother about changing his number.
Mostella tweeted that, eventually, he was diagnosed with an eating disorder and a heart condition, which he says was caused by the former. During this time, he said Franklin never contacted him.
Mostella continued that he had the option of either medically retiring from football or leaving Penn State to play elsewhere. He said he eventually decided to take a semester off, but when he came back to school, he couldn’t enroll in classes.
This thread will detail my last two years with PSU with an emphasis on the past few months.
This is NOT a criticism of the university or any of its employees, I’m not promoting a positive or negative view of either. I’m simply stating what has happened in the past two years
— Bryce Mostella (@BryceMostella) January 29, 2022
Franklin didn’t share his side of the story.
“As you can imagine, when things like this happen, we’re not really going to have a response,” Franklin said. “We can’t have a response. It’s not the appropriate setting to do that.”
Mostella is still listed on Penn State’s roster, but Franklin seemed to make clear that the East Kentwood, Michigan, native is no longer part of the Nittany Lions.
“Obviously, in this setting, I don’t want to get into a whole lot of specifics.
The one thing I would say is he’s not currently enrolled, so you can’t really be a part of a team unless you’re enrolled in classes. But, obviously, our focus is on all of our student-athletes in the entire athletic department; specifically, football is to make sure that our guys are healthy and safe.
That’s really what I can say at this point.”
Mostella redshirted his freshman season and didn’t see any game action in 2021.