STATE COLLEGE – Penn State football coach James Franklin on Tuesday advocated for the Big Ten and college football to postpone the 2020 season rather than a full cancelation.
Franklin joined ESPN’s Get Up early Tuesday to give his perspective on the upcoming season.
“There’s still time,” he said. “There’s still information that we need to gather. My point is, why cancel the season right now when we don’t have all the information and we don’t have all the answers.”
Franklin’s comments come just one day after reports about the postponement or cancelation of fall Big Ten sports surfaced. Over the weekend, meetings between the conference’s 14 presidents resulted in a league-wide mandate that halted football teams from proceeding with practicing in full pads.
Penn State opened fall camp last Friday and is scheduled to host Northwestern on Sept. 5.
“Why would we cancel the season right now when we don’t even have the answers for what that may mean,” Franklin said. “I’m on a call last night with the parents and our players, and they’re asking me a bunch of questions. ‘What does this mean for my scholarship? What does this mean for my eligibility? Do I get another year? What does this mean for the fifth-year seniors?’”
Franklin joins a growing list of Big Ten coaches who are pushing to delay, rather than cancel the upcoming season. Ryan Day (Ohio State), Jim Harbaugh (Michigan) and Scott Frost (Nebraska) have all echoed similar responses of support.
“The virus is going to be here whether we play football or not,” Frost said on Monday. “We feel, and I feel 100% certain that the safest place for our players in regards to coronavirus is right here where there’s structure, where there’s testing where there’s medical supervision, where they have the motivation to make smart decisions to stay away from the virus because if they don’t they’re going to lose what they love and lose their opportunity to play football.”
Franklin said Penn State’s medical trainer and team doctor have been made available for questions from parents and players. He explained they’ve spoken with parents on seven occasions and have answered all questions regarding the coronavirus and player safety.
“Last night on our phone call with our parents, our team trainer as well as our team doctor has gotten in front of them and explained our entire process, our entire protocol,” Franklin said. “(They) answered every question that our parents have had, that our players have had. We have done that now seven times. I think one of the things that is a little bit of an issue out there is that this is going to be led by medical decisions. And I think all that we’re saying right now is we don’t need to make that decision right now.”