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Penn State Football

James Franklin: ‘We’ve All Seen Examples’ of Coaches not Handling Press Conferences Well

PSU coach James Franklin talks with Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi before last year's game at Beaver Stadium.

When Penn State coach James Franklin talked to last reporters Wednesday after practice– a weekly ritual– he mentioned wanting to find a balance in giving media the information it needs while also not making comments that could be divisive within the locker room.

Franklin made similar comments to that almost a week later in his Tuesday presser. 

After answering a question relating to Penn State’s receivers, Franklin rehashed what he said Wednesday.

“I’m always trying to do everything I possibly can to answer your questions– and I think sometimes you guys think I’m avoiding the question– I’m trying to answer your questions the best I can without being divisive to my team or to my players, because we’ve all seen examples of coaches that have not handled that well,” Franklin said. “Whether they meant to be that way or not, that’s how it comes off, and it causes problems. So that’s always the delicate balance. How do I answer your question without doing one of those two things?”

“That doesn’t mean that I’m not having very direct conversations with someone, but I also don’t want to say something in this press conference that I haven’t said to that player first or to those players first. I don’t think that’s the right thing to do.”

Although Franklin didn’t name any names, the “examples of coaches” part is the one that will draw the most general interest.

This past Saturday, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi came under fire, first for his team losing 58-7 at Notre Dame and falling to 2-6, and second for what he said in his postgame presser.

“You lose a lot of good players a year ago,” Narduzzi said. “You think as a coach you’re going to replace them. We, obviously, haven’t.”

Many, including Narduzzi’s players, reacted publically to this. 

Also Saturday, Colorado coach Deion Sanders made critical comments toward his offensive line. 

“The big picture, you go get new (offensive) linemen,” Sanders said. “That’s the picture and I’m going to paint it perfectly.” 

Penn State fans have their ideas of who James Franklin was referring to.


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