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NSN Poll Question: Do you Agree With PSU AD Pat Kraft’s Big Ten Scheduling Criticisms?

Penn State's Next Athletic Director, Dr. Patrick Kraft, Speaks with Reporters at His Introductory Press Conference Friday, April 29, 2022 (photo courtesy of Penn State Athletics)

Penn State athletic director Patrick Kraft gave his first press conference since officially stepping into the role July 1 at day two of Big Ten Media Days Wednesday afternoon.

A lot of what he talked about— NIL, Beaver Stadium, Penn State’s athletic programs in general— was expected.

But the comments, or rather, criticisms, that made the most headlines centered around Kraft’s take on Big Ten scheduling.

Penn State is opening up its 2022 football season with a game against a Big Ten opponent on the road for the third year in a row.

Additionally, Penn State hasn’t opened its Big Ten slate at home since 2015 and has only done so once since 2009.

Kraft isn’t too happy about it.

“It stinks, it stinks,” Kraft said. “(Penn State coach James Franklin) called me the other day (about it). I said, ‘What?’ I called the conference office and said this is unacceptable. So we’re addressing that right away.”

Kraft continued.

“That shouldn’t happen at Penn State,” he said. “We should be at home for our opener. I think it’s nine or seven years (now). That’s crazy. That stinks. I did deal with that. I called our friends in the conference, who I love dearly. But that’s not right.”

Franklin offered a less passionate response, but praised his athletic director for saying things that Franklin himself might have spent energy saying in the past.

“I don’t know how (starting out Big Ten play on the road so often is) statistically even possible, especially when it’s been brought up before,” Franklin said Wednesday. “But Pat’s pounding that drum. In years past, I would feel like I’d have to maybe say some of these things, to maybe create some pressure or to create some dialogue that needed to happen. [Now] I don’t have to.”

So Penn State fans, what do you think? Are Kraft and Franklin right for bringing this issue to light, or, since every Big Ten team gets the same amount of home and away conference games, is where the team starts conference play a non-issue?

Was Pat Kraft right to rant about Big Ten scheduling?

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