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What did Penn State HC James Franklin Have to say About Michigan Allegations?

James Franklin during pregame warmups before Penn State's matchup with Delaware.

At his weekly presser Tuesday, Penn State coach James Franklin was asked about the biggest current story in college football, one that involves a fellow Big Ten program.

In a story that’s getting juicier by the day, the University of Michigan is being investigated by the NCAA for alleged sign stealing.

A Michigan staffer, Connor Stalions, bought tickets for more than 30 Big Ten games at 11 Big Ten schools after the past three seasons, per ESPN’s Pete Thamel. 

One of those games was Penn State’s game at Ohio State this past Saturday. Stalions reportedly bought tickets on both sides of the field, although the tickets went unused. 

In his response, Franklin said that, in general, teams have to find a way to “disguise your signals.”

“Everybody does it,” Franklin said, “whether they do it with sheets or boards or whatever it may be.”

Franklin said Penn State “made some changes after the bye week.”

“Specific to that, I probably won’t get into what’s going on at that other school (Michigan) and the things that are going on,” he said. “I probably won’t get into that, but I think in general, we’re always aware of how we signal, are we disguising it? What happens is you get to after game, and you feel like you called a very unpredictable call in a certain situation and they’re in the perfect defense for it. You are sitting there saying, well, how is that? What would ever make you play cover two on fourth-and-one, and we’re in the heavy personnel group? But they’re in it, and you have a shot called there. Those things kind of make you second guess, and you kind of go back and look at those things and what you need to do to disguise it.”

“If it happens once, that’s one thing, but if it happens over and over, then you’re aware of it. For us that’s something that we always are looking at, but obviously with some of the things that are going on right now, it magnifies it. 

Franklin had one more thing to say.

Although some have called for the NCAA to implement the NFLs headset system to prevent sign stealing, Franklin feels this wouldn’t solve the problem.

“I’m not saying we shouldn’t do it,” he said, “but if college offenses are going to decide not to huddle, you still have to be able to get the information communicated to the receivers, to the tight end. Maybe you can verbally communicate it to the O-line, which a lot of people do, but how does everybody else get it? So it’s either the coaches are signaling from the sideline or the quarterback is signaling from the field, and you still have some of the same issues unless you decide to huddle, which I think you saw us huddle more on Saturday than we typically do.”

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