The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 9, 2014

College football: Penn State hire still in limbo

By McClatchy News Services

Despite two reports that said he would become the next head football coach at Penn State, Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin gave no public indication Thursday that he would take the job.

As Nittany Lions fans waited for Franklin to come aboard and replace Bill O'Brien, the Penn State board of trustees announced that it would hold a special meeting Saturday morning of its committee on compensation, and that the "sole purpose of the meeting" was "to consider a personnel matter."

A source told The Philadelphia Inquirer the meeting was to vote on the contract for a new football coach. The source did not identify the coach.

A report on ESPN said the deal with the 41-year-old Franklin, a native of Langhorne, Bucks County, Pa., was expected to be finalized "in the next 24 to 48 hours" and that the contract would be approved.

As first reported by the Scranton Times-Tribune, Penn State made an offer Wednesday to Franklin during a meeting at his vacation home in Destin, Fla. University president Rodney Erickson and athletic director Dave Joyner, chairman of the selection committee, were among the Penn State representatives who were there.

Franklin was expected to give the committee an answer at some point Thursday. Two websites, and, said he was "expected" to accept the offer.

But silence was the word as the day went on. Vanderbilt athletics director David Williams went on two Nashville radio stations to say that Franklin had not said anything to him about leaving. And the Tennessean reported Thursday night that the coach told Williams in a text that he was "still trying to make a decision."

"He and his family are doing what most people would do, and I think it's a tough decision," the newspaper quoted Williams as saying. "My gut reaction is that he will stay Vanderbilt's football coach."

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