UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — With a little over a week since the Big Ten formally postponed the fall football season and fall athletics, Penn State football coach James Franklin met with media members Wednesday morning to share his thoughts.
Right off the top, Coach Franklin addressed the postponement of the season with a prepared statement expressing the team, and the staff’s disappointment of the decision.
“The announcement to postpone football was extremely disappointing. Witnessing the confusion on our guys’ faces when I shared the news of the postponement last week was gut wrenching,” Franklin said.
“Penn State has worked extremely hard to provide the safest environment possible for our student-athletes over the last three months. Our student-athletes have matched our institution’s diligence by following the recommended health and safety protocols with the intent to play this fall.”
Something Franklin harped on throughout the media availability was the willingness for the players and staff to adhere to the CDC guidelines laid out for mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
When asked what he thought of the player petitions and parent letters against the postponement of the season, Franklin was happy that his players were using their voices to be heard, but doubtful it would change anything.
“Do I think things are going to change? I don’t think we’re going to go back to a fall season. … I don’t see that happening,” Franklin said in his response.
The head ball coach also stressed that he had no issue with the decision, but rather the timing. He said the voices of the players, coaches and parents were heard before and after the decision was made, but not during.
“The amount of communication we have had before and after has been pretty good, but when the decision was actually being made, the decision caught a lot of people off guard. The decision came before everybody being on board and understanding it,” Franklin added.
Franklin says after the most recent COVID test he took came back negative, he took a trip down to Florida to his wife and daughters. He added players were allowed to do the same, and would have to be tested and quarantined upon returning.