Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Franklin Stressing Stability with Staff as Well as Players

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Franklin Stressing Stability with Staff as Well as Players

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State football coach James Franklin is preaching stability ahead of the 2016 season, and that started this spring with the coaching staff.

Franklin gave an impromptu on-the-record talk after a luncheon with the media Thursday at the Lasch Football Building where he announced "everybody" - from the assistant coaches to the strength and conditioning coaches to the team administrators - all signed two-year guaranteed deals with buyout options.

"That's really good from a stability standpoint," Franklin said. "Them buying houses is always a good sign as a head coach."

A team spokeswoman could not confirm anything more on the assistant coaches' deals. Franklin is in his third year of his six-year contract.

In addition to the coaches feeling more secure, Franklin also has been working with the players, saying he has taken about 50 to 60 players out to dinner individually in the offseason to hear feedback about the team.

That meant the coach ended up eating at a local restaurant three nights in a row one week since the players chose the venue. But Franklin said the meals were a good way for some of the players he didn't recruit to get to know him better.

Franklin said the biggest issue he heard about was something that should be solved this year. The coach relayed a story from former lineman Miles Dieffenbach, who said when he was a freshman he was 15th on the depth chart and didn't have a single rep the whole year. But after the NCAA sanctions resulting from the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal, that wasn't the case anymore.

"You have these recruits that go through the recruiting process, and they're all patted on the back and told how wonderful they are for two years. And that distorts reality," Franklin said. "You become a little entitled. You show up on campus. …

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